Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What is a Nobel Prize - Random Wednesday





Hey all! :) How are you doing? I hope my new post finds all my dear readers in a great state of health! :)

It's Wednesday, The Random Wednesday! :D And today I wanted to talk about Nobel Prize. Before which let me ask, do you find any changes in my blog? NO?! O_O LOL! I removed 3 adzones to clear make a more stable content-to-ads ratio, I hope it looks better now. Even I thought that my blog seemed a bit odd with all those ads, more of an adzone only! Anyways, I wanted to do that myself before someone asked me and the process got accelerated! haha! :D Alright! Alright, I'm getting back to the topic, hush!


Let's first check what the internet says about it?

A simple definition, erm sort of


So our Wikipedia said to me that, "Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895. The prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace were first awarded in 1901." Now don't look at me at using that phrase, "Scandinavian Committee". Well it is group of individuals responsible for selecting the annual winners of the Nobel Prize. Cool! Are you sure they are unbiased, I sometimes doubt! :/


Alfred Nobel
The Man Behind the Nobel Prize


Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace. The foundations for the prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize. Alfred Nobel, a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, author and pacifist. Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 21, 1833. His family was descended from Olof Rudbeck, the best-known technical genius in Sweden in the 17th century, an era in which Sweden was a great power in northern Europe. Nobel was fluent in several languages, and wrote poetry and drama. Nobel was also very interested in social and peace-related issues, and held views that were considered radical during his time. On November 27, 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will in Paris. When it was opened and read after his death, the will caused a lot of controversy both in Sweden and internationally, as Nobel had left much of his wealth for the establishment of a prize! His family opposed the establishment of the Nobel Prize, and the prize awarders he named refused to do what he had requested in his will. It was five years before the first Nobel Prize could be awarded in 1901.

You may check out more about Alfred Nobel, on the "official website of Nobel Prize". An article about him is written in just an amazing manner. The article is divided into various subsections, you can browse through which from the left-side widget on the website. Check it out over here.


More about the Nobel Prize


The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, while the other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in the fields of literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, peace and economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet(A renowned medical university of Sweden) awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded by a Swedish organisation but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Each recipient, or laureate, receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money which depends on the Nobel Foundation's income that year. In 2011, each prize was worth SEK 10 million (US$1.46 million or you may say, €1.16 million). The prize is not awarded posthumously; however, if a person is awarded a prize and dies before receiving it, the prize may still be presented. A prize may not be shared among more than three people. The average number of laureates per prize has increased substantially over the 20th century.

Each medal features an image of Alfred Nobel in left profile on the obverse. The medals for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature have identical obverses, showing the image of Alfred Nobel and the years of his birth and death. Nobel's portrait also appears on the obverse of the Peace Prize medal and the medal for the Economics Prize, but with a slightly different design. For instance, the laureate's name is engraved on the rim of the Economics medal. The image on the reverse of a medal varies according to the institution awarding the prize. The reverse sides of the medals for chemistry and physics share the same design. I think we shouldn't talk about the details of the gold, etc. content, Man! It get's tempting then! haha! :D

The best part I came to know about Nobel Prize was that yes, the winners do get a prize money. I mean with all the work they id which was worthy of a Nobel prize, shouldn't just leave their economic conditions poor if some excellent mind is not economically strong!


There aren't any Nobel Prize for Mathematics?


Now one thing for which I felt really bad was that there ain't any Nobel Prize for Mathematics, when in essence there is nothing better than Mathematics in the whole world! I know I have been someone who never liked mathematics, but hey! I don't hate it completely. There are some parts of it, especially the discrete mathematics(Probability, Combinatorial, Set Theory, etc.) that are deeply loved by me. When I know that yes, there have been great great great Mathematicians around the world without whom Physic's Inventions would have been lacking the precision and of course theoretical explanations, how could you rule out such a subject out the most prestigious award list? Mathematics has the answer of everything! I mean from Astrology, to astronomy, from drawing, art, literature, to Computers, just everything has Mathematics, and ruling it out of such an prestigious honor is really something that hurts! :/

There are some rather idiotic claims about why there ain't any Mathematics Nobel Prize. One such is that Alfred Nobel's wife was having an affair with a mathematician. OMG! HE WAS NEVER MARRIED! LOL! How could they make such an idiotic reason! duh! Other similar do exist, but well just forget about them. A more concrete one is that it wasn't mentioned in his will, then why the hell did they accept the Swedish Bank's donation and made another prize "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" to be a part of Nobel Prize lists? And what about the Computer Scientists? They say mathematics wasn't something Nobel was interested in that's why he didn't state it in his will, but well! if there were computers I'm dead sure he would have been interested in them! I found an extremely amazing comment by some Internet user. Let me quote it for you all:

"When Nobel Prizes are dished out each fall, the most accomplished professionals in computing, telecom and IT have usually been left out in the cold. That's because there is no Nobel Prize for these fields, and it's unlikely there will be one any time soon. According to the Nobel Foundation: 'The Nobel Prizes, as designated in the Will of Alfred Nobel, are in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Only once has a prize been added — a Memorial Prize — The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, donated by Sweden's central bank to celebrate its tercentenary in 1968. The Nobel Foundation's Board of Directors later decided to keep the original five prizes intact and not to permit new additions.' So, if IBM, Google, Apple or some other deep-pocketed tech company wanted to make a big donation along the lines of what Sweden's central bank did in 1968, maybe it could sway the Nobel Foundation to add a prize. But it most likely wouldn't be officially called a Nobel Prize."

According to me the person is correct! There must be, but well, we cannot call them official Nobel Prize then all because Alfred Nobel himself never made it an official one :/


A list of notable people who won Nobel Prizes


Let me quote the list issued by Telegraph as the 10 most important winners of Nobel Prize:
  1. Marie Curie - First woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903 when she was recognised, along with her husband Pierre and Antoine Henri Becquerel, with the Physics award for their research into radiation. She later became the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes when she was given the Chemistry Prize in 1911 for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her further research into radium.
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. - Won the Peace Prize in 1964, at the age of 35, for his work to end racial discrimination through non-violent means.
  3. Albert Einstein - Arguably the world's most famous scientist, Einstein was given the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his services to physics, especially his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.
  4. Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins - These three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for their discovery of the "double helix" structure of DNA nine years earlier. The award was deemed controversial because of the death of Rosalind Franklin, a collaborator with Wilkins, four years earlier. Nobel foundation rules, which state the prizes cannot be given posthumously, meant her work was not recognised. That's sad! :/
  5. Jean-Paul Sartre - The French existentialist philosopher, writer and literary critic was the first person to turn down a Nobel Prize in 1964 when he declined the Prize for Literature. Sartre is still recorded as the winner by the Nobel federation for his influential work which was "filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth".
  6. Sir Alexander Fleming - Sir Alexander shared the 1945 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Ernst Chain and Sir Howard Florey for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect on infectious diseases. The Scot made his discovery accidentally when he returned to his untidy laboratory from a holiday to discover a fungus had developed that destroyed the bacteria immediately surrounding it. Wow! it was an accidental discovery that led him to the Nobel Prize! Lucky, eh?! :D
  7. Hermann Muller - The American won the same prize as Fleming a year later, in 1946, for his discovery of the mutating effects of X-ray radiation.
  8. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - The Russian novelist and dissident, who spent time in a Soviet labour camp after writing letters that criticised the communist regime, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. His most famous novels, The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, for which he received the award, exposed the brutality of the Soviet Union's forced labour camps.
  9. The International Committee of the Red Cross - The highest number of Nobel Prize wins goes to the International Committee of the Red Cross with three separate Nobel Peace Prizes. In 1917 and 1944 the organisation was recognised for its work during the First and Second World Wars, and it was named as a winner again in 1963, along with the League of Red Cross Societies, to mark its 100th anniversary.
  10. Sir Clive Granger - The Welsh economist won the 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his methods of analysing economic statistics, which revolutionised the way economists interpret financial data. His prize was shared with Robert Engle III, for his research in a similar area.


A list of 2011 Nobel Prize Winners


  • The Nobel Prize in Physics - Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae"
  • The Nobel Prize in Chemistry - Dan Shechtman "for the discovery of quasicrystals"
  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity"
  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - Ralph M. Steinman "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity"
  • The Nobel Prize in Literature - Tomas Tranströmer "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality"
  • The Nobel Peace Prize - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work"
  • The Prize in Economic Sciences - Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims "for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy"

The most amazing thing I came across was that Nobel Prize has an official Website! O_O I was like, WHAT?! O_O Check here. If I talk more about this website first, let me tell you all it's worth a visit! I mean it's just too good. They have got an educational page on the website which is filled with information that could make anyone spellbound! Just superb it is. Do check out the website! :)

Thanks for reading the article. I hope I wrote it nicely! :D All your comments and suggestions are welcomed always! :) Thanks for your time and attention. Good Day friends! :)

8 comments:

  1. TY for a lot of info 'bout Nobel Prize^^

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    1. Your welcome! Thanks for spending time reading it, Sherry! ^_^ Hope to see you soon! :D

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  2. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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  3. Your welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment and your view! :) Much appreciated! :D
    although you could have shared your link as Name/URL column instead of using the hyperlinks in fullstops. They are not easily recognisable.

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