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After having the unfortunate fortune of reading his own obituary eight years before the actual death, Alfred Nobel had a change of heart. Known popularly for the invention of dynamite, the Swedish innovator found a grim article written by a French newspaper which mistook his brother’s death for his own.
The title of the obituary read “The Merchant of Death is Dead“. After having gone through it entirely, Nobel came to a conclusion that the world didn’t recognize his 355 patents for different inventions for the good of mankind. Instead, his invention of a destructive weapon like dynamite was considered the worst thing ever that could happen to humans. He was determined to change the outlook of the world on him and hence made a will to donate 94% of his hugely amassed wealth towards issuing Nobel prizes.
Nobel prizes, according to the will of Alfred Nobel are bestowed upon individuals from different disciplines in recognition of their contribution towards academic, cultural and scientific advances. There were Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Physiology or Medicine when they were first announced in 1901. However, the sixth Nobel prize for Economic Sciences was issued starting 1968.
In continuation of the awarding tradition, the 116th Nobel Prize ceremony which is being held in Stockholm, Sweden has seen 11 people being conferred upon the Nobel Prize.
Here is the complete list of winners of 2016 Nobel Prize.
The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 is shared by three renowned professors of Physics from the United Kingdom. Michael Kosterlitz, Duncan Haldane and David J. Thouless are recognized for their work on “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”. In simple terms, it is the mathematical insights on phases of matter like superfluids and superconductors.
To help understand the general public this complicated concept, a member of the Nobel Physics Prize selection committee used a cinnamon bun, a bagel and a pretzel in a really simple way. Watch it!
Member of the Nobel committee for physics explains topology using a cinnamon bun, a bagel and a pretzel https://t.co/gORO04UYam
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 4, 2016
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2016 went to three scientists who built molecular machines. Fraser Stoddart, Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Ben Feringa were credited for their invention of the world’s smallest mechanical devices which are one-thousandth of a width of a strand of human hair.
The invention was so epic in the eyes of Nobel Prize committee members, that they compared it with the invention of the electric motor in 1830s which was the starting point for many inventions like electric trains, washing machines, and food processors.
Here’s the official Nobel Prize committee announcement for winners in the field of Chemistry.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 5, 2016
3. Physiology or Medicine
Japanese cell biologist and winner of Brandeis’ Rosenstiel Award, Yoshinori Ohsumi was conferred upon the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work resulting in deepened understanding of human diseases.
Ohsumi is a professor in the Tokyo Institute specializing in autophagy which is the process by which cells destroy and recycle cellular components.
Here’s the Nobel Prize committee announcing Yoshinori Ohsumi as the winner.
Announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine https://t.co/MK6UzCA6HV
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 3, 2016
The Nobel Peace Prize 2016 went to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to bring the 50-year-long civil war in Colombia to an end. Ever since Santos took office as President in 2010, he has time and again made efforts to bring the war with leftist FARC to an end.
Although the peace deal brokered by Juan Manuel Santos and FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño could not materialize, the Nobel Committee recognized the efforts by the leader and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The President of Colombia took it saying that the prize was for the victims of the war and those who braved to put an end to the war in Colombia.
The Nobel Prize in Economics was only started in the year 1969. The first prize was shared by Jan Tinbergen and Ragnar Frisch who won it for their development and application of dynamic models in the analysis of economic processes.
Forty-seven years after the first Nobel for Economics was awarded, yet again, two economists are sharing the prize.
Oliver Hart, a British Economist from Harvard University and Bengt Holmström, a Finnish Economist from MIT are sharing the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2016 towards their contributions to the contract theory – agreements which shape businesses, finance, and public policies.
Here is the official announcement of the winners of Nobel Prize in Economics for 2016.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 10, 2016
The 2016 Nobel prize for Literature was awarded to American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan. The 75-year-old Dylan was awarded the prize in recognition for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.
While there was a divided opinion on the Nobel prize being awarded to Bob Dylan, one of the professors of Literature from Stockholm University spoke in favor of Dylan saying that those who criticize the American songwriter should first hear his 1966 album titled “Blonde on Blonde”. This album, according to the professor, contains wonderful examples of Dylan’s brilliant way of rhyming and bringing together refrains and his pictorial thinking.
By winning the prestigious award, Bob Dylan has become only the second man after George Bernard Shaw to win both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar.
Here’s the official announcement of the winner of 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 13, 2016