Nobel Prize facts

Alfred Nobels will-November 25th, 1895
Alfred Nobel's will stated that 94% of his total assets should be used to establish the Nobel Prizes.

Every year, the Nobel Prizes (Swedish: Nobelpriset) are given to people and institutions around the world. These prizes are for the study of science and for world peace. The science prizes include Literature, Science, and Medicine. The Nobel Prize was started by Alfred Nobel. His 1895 testament (or will) gave money for the Prizes. The Nobel Foundation now controls the money. The Foundation asks different committees or academies to decide who receives the prizes. For many people, a Nobel Prize is a very great honor. People who receive a Nobel Prize are called "Nobel laureates".

Each prize winner gets a medal, a diploma and a sum of money. In 1901, the winners of the first Nobel Prizes were given 150,782 SEK. This is same as 7,731,004 SEK in December 2007. In 2008, the winners were awarded a prize of 10,000,000 SEK.

Prize categories and winners

These are the committees and institutions who decide which people receive a Nobel Prize:

The Nobel Prize in Economics was not a part of Nobel's will. It was started in 1969 by Sveriges Riksbank, the Bank of Sweden. The bank donated money to the Nobel Foundation for the Economics Prize in 1968. The Economics Studies Prize is in the memory of Alfred Nobel. It is awarded each year with the other Nobel prizes.

Interesting Nobel laureates

Marie Curie 1903
Marie Curie, one of four people who have received the Nobel Prize twice (Physics and Chemistry)

Some people have received more than one Nobel Prize. They are:

  • Marie Curie – in Physics 1903, for the discovery of radioactivity; and in Chemistry 1911, for the isolation of pure radium
  • Linus Pauling – in Chemistry 1954, for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances; and for Peace 1962, for nuclear test-ban treaty activism. Pauling is the only person to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes.
  • John Bardeen – in Physics 1956, for the invention of the transistor; and Physics 1972, for the theory of superconductivity.
  • Frederick Sanger – in Chemistry 1958, for structure of the insulin molecule; and in Chemistry 1980, for virus nucleotide sequencing.
  • As a group, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has received the Nobel Peace Prize three times: in 1917, 1944, and 1963. The first two prizes were given the group's work during the world wars. The third was awarded at the year of its 100-Year Anniversary.

Some families have received multiple laureates.

  • The Curie family received 5 Nobel Prizes. They are:
    • Marie Curie – for Physics in 1903 and for Chemistry in 1911
    • Her husband Pierre Curie – for Physics in 1903
    • Their daughter Irène Joliot-Curie – for Chemistry in 1935
    • Their son-in-law Frederic Joliot-Curie – for Chemistry in 1935
    • Also, Henry Labouisse, the husband of the Curies' second daughter Ève, was the director of UNICEF when it won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965.
  • Gunnar Myrdal – for Economics in 1974 and his wife Alva Myrdal –for Peace in 1982
  • J. J. Thomson – for Physics in 1906. He was the father of George Paget Thomson who received the prize for Physics in 1937.
  • William Henry Bragg shared the Prize for Physics in 1915 with his son, William Lawrence Bragg.
  • Niels Bohr received the Prize for Physics in 1922. His son Aage Bohr received the Prize for Physics in 1975.
  • Manne Siegbahn received the Prize for Physics in 1924. He was the father of Kai Siegbahn who shared the Prize for Physics in 1981.
  • Hans von Euler-Chelpin shared the Prize in Chemistry in 1929 with Arthur Harden. Euler-Chelpin's son, Ulf von Euler, received the Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1970.
  • C.V. Raman received the Prize for Physics in 1930. He was the uncle of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar who received the Prize for Physics in 1983.
  • Arthur Kornberg shared the Prize with Severo Ochoa for Physiology or Medicine in 1959. Kornberg's son, Roger, received the Prize for Chemistry in 2006.
  • Jan Tinbergen received the Prize for Economics in 1969. He was the brother of Nikolaas Tinbergen, who shared the Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1973 with Konrad Lorenz and Karl von Frisch.
  • Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize for their works during the civil rights revolution in South Africa in 1993.
  • The youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize, or any Nobel prize, is the Pakistani girl activist Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when she received this in October 2014.


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