The Nobel Prize in Physics (Swedish: Nobelpriset i fysik) is a yearly award given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for humankind in the field of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others being the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to physicist Wilhelm Röntgen in recognition of the extraordinary services he rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays (or x-rays). This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation and widely regarded as the most prestigious award that a scientist can receive in physics. It is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death. Through 2018, a total of 209 individuals have been awarded the prize.
|The Nobel Prize in Physics|
|Awarded for||Outstanding contributions for mankind in the field of Physics|
|Date||10 December 1901|
|Presented by||Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences|
|Reward(s)||9 million SEK (2017)|
|Currently held by||Gérard Mourou, Arthur Ashkin, Donna Strickland (2018)|
|Most awards||John Bardeen (2)|
Alfred Nobel, in his last will and testament, stated that his wealth be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind" in the fields of physics, chemistry, peace, physiology or medicine, and literature. Though Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime, the last one was written a year before he died and was signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on 27 November 1895. Nobel bequeathed 94% of his total assets, 31 million Swedish kronor (US$198 million, Euro€176 million in 2016), to establish and endow the five Nobel Prizes. Due to the level of skepticism surrounding the will, it was not until April 26, 1897 that it was approved by the Storting (Norwegian Parliament). The executors of his will were Ragnar Sohlman and Rudolf Lilljequist, who formed the Nobel Foundation to take care of Nobel's fortune and organise the prizes.
The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee who were to award the Peace Prize were appointed shortly after the will was approved. The prize-awarding organisations followed: the Karolinska Institutet on June 7, the Swedish Academy on June 9, and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on June 11. The Nobel Foundation then reached an agreement on guidelines for how the Nobel Prize should be awarded. In 1900, the Nobel Foundation's newly created statutes were promulgated by King Oscar II. According to Nobel's will, The Royal Swedish Academy of sciences were to award the Prize in Physics.
A maximum of three Nobel laureates and two different works may be selected for the Nobel Prize in Physics. Compared with other Nobel Prizes, the nomination and selection process for the prize in Physics is long and rigorous. This is a key reason why it has grown in importance over the years to become the most important prize in Physics.
The Nobel laureates are selected by the Nobel Committee for Physics, a Nobel Committee that consists of five members elected by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In the first stage that begins in September, around 3,000 people – selected university professors, Nobel Laureates in Physics and Chemistry, etc. – are sent confidential forms to nominate candidates. The completed nomination forms arrive at the Nobel Committee no later than 31 January of the following year. These nominees are scrutinized and discussed by experts who narrow it to approximately fifteen names. The committee submits a report with recommendations on the final candidates into the Academy, where, in the Physics Class, it is further discussed. The Academy then makes the final selection of the Laureates in Physics through a majority vote.
The names of the nominees are never publicly announced, and neither are they told that they have been considered for the prize. Nomination records are sealed for fifty years. While posthumous nominations are not permitted, awards can be made if the individual died in the months between the decision of the prize committee (typically in October) and the ceremony in December. Prior to 1974, posthumous awards were permitted if the recipient had died after being nominated.
The rules for the Nobel Prize in Physics require that the significance of achievements being recognized has been "tested by time". In practice, it means that the lag between the discovery and the award is typically on the order of 20 years and can be much longer. For example, half of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for his work on stellar structure and evolution that was done during the 1930s. As a downside of this approach, not all scientists live long enough for their work to be recognized. Some important scientific discoveries are never considered for a prize, as the discoverers die by the time the impact of their work is appreciated.
A Physics Nobel Prize laureate earns a gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money.
The Nobel Prize medals, minted by Myntverket in Sweden and the Mint of Norway since 1902, are registered trademarks of the Nobel Foundation. Each medal has an image of Alfred Nobel in left profile on the obverse. The Nobel Prize 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 (1833–1896). Nobel's portrait also appears on the obverse of the Nobel Peace Prize medal and the Medal for the Prize in Economics, but with a slightly different design. The image on the reverse of a medal varies according to the institution awarding the prize. The reverse sides of the Nobel Prize medals for Chemistry and Physics share the same design of Nature, as a Goddess, whose veil is held up by the Genius of Science. These medals and the ones for Physiology/Medicine and Literature were designed by Erik Lindberg in 1902.
Nobel laureates receive a diploma directly from the hands of the King of Sweden. Each diploma is uniquely designed by the prize-awarding institutions for the laureate that receives it. The diploma contains a picture and text which states the name of the laureate and normally a citation of why they received the prize.
At the awards ceremony, the laureate is given a document indicating the award sum. The amount of the cash award may differ from year to year, based on the funding available from the Nobel Foundation. For example, in 2009 the total cash awarded was 10 million SEK (US$1.4 million), but in 2012, the amount was 8 million Swedish Kronor, or US$1.1 million. If there are two laureates in a particular category, the award grant is divided equally between the recipients, but if there are three, the awarding committee may opt to divide the grant equally, or award half to one recipient and a quarter to each of the two others.
The committee and institution serving as the selection board for the prize typically announce the names of the laureates in October. The prize is then awarded at formal ceremonies held annually in Stockholm Concert Hall on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death. The laureates receive a diploma, a medal and a document confirming the prize amount.
After Nobel’s death, the Nobel Foundation was set up to carry out the provisions of his will and to administer his funds. In his will, he had stipulated that four different institutions—three Swedish and one Norwegian—should award the prizes. From Stockholm, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences confers the prizes for physics, chemistry, and economics, the Karolinska Institute confers the prize for physiology or medicine, and the Swedish Academy confers the prize for literature. The Norwegian Nobel Committee based in Oslo confers the prize for peace. 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.
Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) is an industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish company Nokia. Its headquarters are located in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Other laboratories are located around the world (with some in the United States). Bell Labs has its origins in the complex past of the Bell System.
In the late 19th century, the laboratory began as the Western Electric Engineering Department and was located at 463 West Street in New York City. In 1925, after years of conducting research and development under Western Electric, the Engineering Department was reformed into Bell Telephone Laboratories and under the shared ownership of American Telephone & Telegraph Company and Western Electric.
Researchers working at Bell Labs are credited with the development of radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, the charge-coupled device (CCD), information theory, the Unix operating system, and the programming languages C, C++, and S. Nine Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work completed at Bell Laboratories.Clinton Davisson
Clinton Joseph Davisson (October 22, 1881 – February 1, 1958) was an American physicist who won the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of electron diffraction in the famous Davisson-Germer experiment. Davisson shared the Nobel Prize with George Paget Thomson, who independently discovered electron diffraction at about the same time as Davisson.George E. Smith
George Elwood Smith (born May 10, 1930) is an American scientist, applied physicist, and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device (CCD). He was awarded a one-quarter share in the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography". In 2017, Smith was announced as one of four winners of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, for his contribution to the creation of digital imaging sensors.Heinrich Rohrer
Heinrich Rohrer (6 June 1933 – 16 May 2013) was a Swiss physicist who shared half of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics with Gerd Binnig for the design of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). The other half of the Prize was awarded to Ernst Ruska.James Rainwater
Leo James Rainwater (December 9, 1917 – May 31, 1986) was an American physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1975 for his part in determining the asymmetrical shapes of certain atomic nuclei.
During World War II, he worked on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bombs. In 1949, he began developing his theory that, contrary to what was then believed, not all atomic nuclei are spherical. His ideas were later tested and confirmed by Aage Bohr's and Ben Mottelson's experiments. He also contributed to the scientific understanding of X-rays and participated in the United States Atomic Energy Commission and naval research projects.
Rainwater joined the physics faculty at Columbia in 1946, where he reached the rank of full professor in 1952 and was named Pupin Professor of Physics in 1982. He received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for Physics in 1963 and in 1975 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection".Jerome Isaac Friedman
Jerome Isaac Friedman (born March 28, 1930) is an American physicist. He is Institute Professor and Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He won the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Henry Kendall and Richard Taylor, for work showing an internal structure for protons later known to be quarks. Dr. Friedman currently sits on the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.John Bardeen
John Bardeen (; May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991) was an American physicist and electrical engineer. He is the only person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory.The transistor revolutionized the electronics industry, making possible the development of almost every modern electronic device, from telephones to computers, and ushering in the Information Age. Bardeen's developments in superconductivity—for which he was awarded his second Nobel Prize—are used in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
In 1990, Bardeen appeared on LIFE Magazine's list of "100 Most Influential Americans of the Century."John L. Hall
John Lewis "Jan" Hall (born August 21, 1934) is an American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics. He shared the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics with Theodor W. Hänsch and Roy Glauber for his work in precision spectroscopy.Klaus von Klitzing
Klaus von Klitzing (born 28 June 1943, Schroda) is a German physicist, known for discovery of the integer quantum Hall effect, for which he was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics.List of Jewish Nobel laureates
Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 900 individuals, of whom at least 20% were Jews, although the Jewish population comprises less than 0.2% of the world's population. Various theories have been made to explain this phenomenon, which has received considerable attention. Israeli academics Dr. Elay Ben-Gal and Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, curious about the phenomenon, started to form an encyclopedia of Jewish Nobel laureates and interview as many as possible about their life and work.Jews have been recipients of all six awards. The first Jewish recipient, Adolf von Baeyer, was awarded the prize in Chemistry in 1905. As of 2018, the most recent Jewish recipients were physics laureate Arthur Ashkin and economics laureate William Nordhaus.
Jewish laureates Elie Wiesel and Imre Kertész survived the extermination camps during the Holocaust, while François Englert survived by being hidden in orphanages and children's homes. Others, such as Walter Kohn, Otto Stern, Albert Einstein, Hans Krebs and Martin Karplus had to flee Nazi Germany to avoid persecution. Still others, including Rita Levi-Montalcini, Herbert Hauptman, Robert Furchgott, Arthur Kornberg, and Jerome Karle experienced significant antisemitism in their careers.The oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize is Arthur Ashkin, a 96-year-old American Jew.List of Nobel laureates affiliated with Princeton University
This list of Nobel laureates affiliated with Princeton University comprehensively shows the Princeton-affiliated individual winners of the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences since 1901. The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. Another prize, the "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" (commonly known as the Nobel Economics Prize), was established in 1968 (first awarded in 1969) by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributors to the field of economics.As of October 2018, 65 Nobel laureates have been affiliated with Princeton University, and 43 of them are officially listed as "Princeton's Nobel Laureates" by Princeton University for being alumni or having "performed their award-winning work at Princeton, were employed by Princeton when they received their award, or are currently working at the University". Among the laureates, 18 are Princeton alumni (graduates and attendees), and 25 have been long-term academic members of the Princeton faculty. Subject-wise, 26 laureates have won the Nobel Prize in Physics, more than any other subject. In addition, Woodrow Wilson, the former president of Princeton, was the first Princeton-affiliated laureate, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. Four Nobel Prizes (same subject in the same year) were shared by Princeton laureates: James Cronin and Val Logsdon Fitch won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics, Russell Alan Hulse and Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr. won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics, David Gross and Frank Wilczek won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, and Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims won the 2011 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.List of Nobel laureates in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics (Swedish: Nobelpriset i fysik) is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel (who died in 1896), awarded for outstanding contributions in physics. As dictated by Nobel's will, the award is administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death. Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a monetary award prize that has varied throughout the years.Manne Siegbahn
Prof Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn FRS(For) HFRSE (3 December 1886 – 26 September 1978) was a Swedish physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1924 "for his discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy".Martin Lewis Perl
Martin Lewis Perl (June 24, 1927 – September 30, 2014) was an American chemical engineer and physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995 for his discovery of the tau lepton.Masatoshi Koshiba
Masatoshi Koshiba (小柴 昌俊, Koshiba Masatoshi, born September 19, 1926) is a Japanese physicist, known as one of the founders of Neutrino astronomy and jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002.
He is now Senior Counselor of International Center for Elementary Particle Physics (ICEPP) and Emeritus Professor of University of Tokyo.Muon neutrino
The muon neutrino is a lepton, an elementary subatomic particle which has the symbol νμ and no net electric charge. Together with the muon it forms the second generation of leptons, hence the name muon neutrino. It was first hypothesized in the early 1940s by several people, and was discovered in 1962 by Leon Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger. The discovery was rewarded with the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics.Nobel Committee for Physics
The Nobel Committee for Physics is the Nobel Committee responsible for proposing laureates for the Nobel Prize for Physics. The Nobel Committee for Physics is appointed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It usually consists of Swedish professors of physics who are members of the Academy, although the Academy in principle could appoint anyone to the Committee.
The Committee is a working body without decision power, and the final decision to award the Nobel Prize for Physics is taken by the entire Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, after having a first discussion in the Academy's Class for Physics.Russell Alan Hulse
Russell Alan Hulse (born November 28, 1950) is an American physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with his thesis advisor Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr., "for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation". He was a specialist in the pulsar studies and gravitational waves.Takaaki Kajita
Takaaki Kajita (梶田 隆章, Kajita Takaaki, Japanese pronunciation: [kadʑita takaːki]; born 9 March 1959) is a Japanese physicist, known for neutrino experiments at the Kamiokande and its successor, Super-Kamiokande. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Canadian physicist Arthur B. McDonald.
Laureates of the Nobel Prize in Physics
1 Nobel Memorial Prize (not one of the original Nobel Prizes).
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