Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize, any of the prizes that are awarded annually from a fund bequeathed for that purpose by the Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Bernhard Nobel. The Nobel Prizes are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards given for intellectual achievement in the world.

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895. The prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace were first awarded in 1901.

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The related Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was created in 1968. Between 1901 and 2012, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 555 times to 856 people and organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 835 individuals and 21 organizations.

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 Nobel Committee’s Physics Prize shortlist cited Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays and Philipp Lenard’s work on cathode rays. The Academy of Sciences selected Röntgen for the prize.

Alfred Nobel requested in his last will and testament that his money will be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the “greatest benefit on mankind” in physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or medicine, and literature. Though Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime, the last was written a little over a year before he died and signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November 1895.

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The Nobel Foundation is the legal owner and functional administrator of the funds and serves as the joint administrative body of the prize-awarding institutions, but it is not concerned with the prize deliberations or decisions, which rest exclusively with the four institutions.

Alfred Nobel was born on 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden, into a family of engineers. He was a chemist, engineer, and inventor. In 1894, Nobel purchased the Bofors iron and steel mill, which he made into a major armaments manufacturer. Nobel also invented ballistite. This invention was a precursor to many smokeless military explosives, especially the British smokeless powder cordite. As a consequence of his patent claims, Nobel was eventually involved in a patent infringement lawsuit over cordite. Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime, with most of his wealth from his 355 inventions, of which dynamite is the most famous.

The Nobel Foundation was founded as a private organisation on 29 June 1900. Its function is to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes. In accordance with Nobel’s will, the primary task of the Foundation is to manage the fortune Nobel left.

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