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) , image = Nobel Prize.png , alt = A golden medallion with an embossed image of a bearded man facing left in profile. To the left of the man is the text "ALFR•" then "NOBEL", and on the right, the text (smaller) "NAT•" then "MDCCCXXXIII" above, followed by (smaller) "OB•" then "MDCCCXCVI" below. , awarded_for = Outstanding contributions for mankind in the field of Physics , presenter =
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Swedish language, Swedish: ''Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien'') is one of the Swedish Royal Academies, royal academies of Sweden. Founded on June 2, 1739, it is an independent, non-governmental scientific organ ...
, location =
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the Capital city, capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban area in Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. Approximately 975,000 people live in the Stockholm Municipality, municipality, with 1.6 million in the Stockh ...

Stockholm
, Sweden , date = , reward = 9 million
Swedish kronor The krona (; plural: ''kronor''; sign A sign is an object, quality, event, or entity whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. A natural sign bears a causal relation to its object—for ...
(2017) , year = 1901 , holder_label = Most recently awarded to , holder =
Syukuro Manabe is a meteorologist and climatologist who pioneered the use of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of ...
and
Klaus HasselmannKlaus Hasselmann (born 25 October 1931 in Hamburg) is a leading German oceanographer and climate mathematical model, modeller. He is probably best known for developing the ''Hasselmann model''Hasselmann K. (1976), "Stochastic climate models, Part 1 ...
, and
Giorgio Parisi Giorgio Parisi (born 4 August 1948) is an Italian theoretical physicist, whose research has focused on quantum field theory, statistical mechanics and complex systems. His best known contributions are the Quantum chromodynamics, QCD evolution equa ...
, most_awards =
John Bardeen John Bardeen (; May 23, 1908 – January 30, 1991) was an American physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, area of inte ...
(2) , website
nobelprize.org
, previous =
2020 2020 was heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to global Social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, social and Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic disruption, List of events affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, mass can ...
The Nobel Prize in Physics is a yearly award given by the
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Swedish language, Swedish: ''Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien'') is one of the Swedish Royal Academies, royal academies of Sweden. Founded on June 2, 1739, it is an independent, non-governmental scientific organ ...
for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for mankind in the field of
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scien ...

physics
. It is one of the five
Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel's Will and testament, will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to ...
s established by the will of
Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He held 355 different Patent, patents, dynamite being the most famous. He owned Bofors, which ...
in 1895 and awarded since 1901, the others being the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry Nobel may refer to: * Nobel Prize, awarded annually since 1901, from the bequest of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel Companies * Akzo Nobel, the result of the merger between Akzo and Nobel Industries in 1994 * Branobel, or The Petroleum Production ...
, Nobel Prize in Literature,
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments (military weapons and equipment) manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry Chemistry is t ...
, and
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded yearly by the Nobel Assembly , native_name_lang = , image = Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.jpeg , size = , motto = , formation = 190113 March 1978(as a formal ...
. Physics is traditionally the first award presented in the Nobel Prize ceremony. The first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to physicist
Wilhelm Röntgen Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (; ; 27 March 184510 February 1923) was a German Mechanical engineering, mechanical engineer and physics, physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X- ...

Wilhelm Röntgen
in recognition of the extraordinary services he rendered by the discovery of
X-ray An X-ray, or X-radiation, is a penetrating form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. Most X-rays have a wavelength ranging from 10 Picometer, picometers to 10 Nanometer, nanometers, corresponding to frequency, frequencies in the r ...

X-ray
s. This award is administered by the
Nobel Foundation The Nobel Foundation ( sv, Nobelstiftelsen) is a private institution founded on 29 June 1900 to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes. The Foundation is based on the last will of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. It ...
and is widely regarded as the most prestigious award that a scientist can receive in physics. It is presented in
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the Capital city, capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban area in Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. Approximately 975,000 people live in the Stockholm Municipality, municipality, with 1.6 million in the Stockh ...

Stockholm
at an annual ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death. As of 2021 a total of 219 individuals have been awarded the prize.


Background

Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He held 355 different Patent, patents, dynamite being the most famous. He owned Bofors, which ...
, in his last will and testament, stated that his wealth should be used to create a series of prizes for those who confer the "greatest benefit on mankind" in the fields of
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scien ...

physics
,
chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and i ...
,
peace upStatue of Eirene, goddess of peace in ancient Greek religion, with her son Pluto. Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility Hostility is seen as form of emotionally charged aggressive behavior. In ...

peace
,
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific study of functions and mechanisms in a living system. As a sub-discipline of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, B ...
or
medicine Medicine is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations ...

medicine
, and
literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expand ...

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 Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, ...

Paris
on 27 November 1895. Nobel bequeathed 94% of his total assets, 31 million Swedish ''kronor'' (
US
US
$198 million,
The euro sign, €, is the currency sign used for the euro The euro (currency symbol, symbol: euro sign, €; ISO 4217, code: EUR) is the official currency of 19 of the Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Uni ...

€
176 million in 2016), to establish and endow the five Nobel Prizes. Owing to the level of skepticism surrounding the will, it was not until 26 April 1897 that it was approved by the
Storting The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) is the supreme legislature of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard ...
(Norwegian Parliament). Agneta Wallin Levinovitz: 2001, Page 13 The executors of his will were
Ragnar SohlmanRagnar Sohlman (February 26, 1870 in Stockholm Stockholm is the Capital city, capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban area in Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. 1 million people live in the Stockholm Municipality, municipality, appr ...
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 other prize-awarding organisations followed: the
Karolinska Institutet The Karolinska Institute (KI; sv, Karolinska Institutet; sometimes known as the (Royal) Caroline Institute in English) is a research-led Medical school, medical university in Solna Municipality, Solna within the Stockholm urban area of Sweden. T ...
on 7 June, the
Swedish Academy The Swedish Academy ( sv, Svenska Akademien), founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic count ...
on 9 June, and the
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Swedish language, Swedish: ''Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien'') is one of the Swedish Royal Academies, royal academies of Sweden. Founded on June 2, 1739, it is an independent, non-governmental scientific organ ...
on 11 June. The Nobel Foundation then established guidelines for awarding the prizes. In 1900, the Nobel Foundation's newly created statutes were promulgated by King
Oscar II Oscar II (Oscar Fredrik; 21 January 1829 – 8 December 1907) was King of Sweden The monarchy of Sweden concerns the monarchical head of state of Sweden,See the #IOG, Instrument of Government, Chapter 1, Article 5. which is a constitutional m ...

Oscar II
."Nobel Prize
(2007), in ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
'', accessed 15 January 2009, from ''Encyclopædia Britannica Online'':
According to Nobel's will, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences would award the Prize in Physics.


Nomination and selection

A maximum of three
Nobel laureate Nobel laureates of 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobilka, Robert J. Lefkowitz">Brian_Kobilka.html" ;"title="Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobilka">Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobilka, Robert J. Lefkowitz, David J. Wineland, and Serge Haroche during the ceremony Th ...
s 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 The Nobel Committee for Physics is the Nobel Committee responsible for proposing laureates for the Nobel Prize for Physics ) , image = Nobel Prize.png , alt = A golden medallion with an embossed image of a bearded man facing left ...
, a
Nobel Committee . . File:Norske nobelinstiutt 1.jpg, The Norwegian Nobel Committee, appointed by the Storting, has its own supporting body in the form of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. A Nobel Committee is a working body responsible for most of the work involved ...
that consists of five members elected by
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Swedish language, Swedish: ''Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien'') is one of the Swedish Royal Academies, royal academies of Sweden. Founded on June 2, 1739, it is an independent, non-governmental scientific organ ...
. During the first stage that begins in September, a group of about 3,000 selected university professors, Nobel Laureates in Physics and Chemistry, and others are sent confidential nomination forms. The completed forms must arrive at the Nobel Committee by 31 January of the following year. The nominees are scrutinized and discussed by experts and are narrowed to approximately fifteen names. The committee submits a report with recommendations on the final candidates to the Academy, where, in the Physics Class, it is further discussed. The Academy then makes the final selection of the Laureates in Physics by 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 committee (typically in October) and the ceremony in December. Prior to 1974, posthumous awards were permitted if the candidate 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, that 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 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar () (19 October 1910 – 21 August 1995) was an Indian-American astrophysicist who spent his professional life in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U ...

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
for his work on stellar structure and evolution that was done during the 1930s. As a downside of this tested-by-time rule, 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.


Prizes

A Physics Nobel Prize laureate is awarded a gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money.


Medals

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 Nobel Prize for Peace"
, "Linus Pauling: Awards, Honors, and Medals", ''Linus Pauling and The Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History'', the Valley Library,
Oregon State University Oregon State University (OSU) is a Public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Corvallis, Oregon. The university offers more than 200 undergraduate-degree programs along with a variety of graduate and doc ...
. Retrieved 7 December 2007.
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 the Goddess of Nature, whose veil is held up by the Genius of Science. These medals, along with those for Physiology/Medicine and Literature, were designed by Erik Lindberg in 1902.


Diplomas

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 who receives it. The diploma contains a picture with the name of the laureate and normally a citation explaining their accomplishments.


Award money

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 The Nobel Foundation ( sv, Nobelstiftelsen) is a private institution founded on 29 June 1900 to manage the finances and administration of the Nobel Prizes. The Foundation is based on the last will of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. It ...
. For example, in 2009 the total cash awarded was 10 million SEK (US$1.4 million), but in 2012 following the
Great Recession The Great Recession was a period of marked general decline (recession) observed in national economies globally that occurred between 2007 and 2009. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country (see map). At the time, the ...
, the amount was 8 million
Swedish Kronor The krona (; plural: ''kronor''; sign A sign is an object, quality, event, or entity whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. A natural sign bears a causal relation to its object—for ...
, 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.


Ceremony

The committee and institution serving as the selection board for the prize typically announce the names of the laureates during the first week of October. The prize is then awarded at formal ceremonies held annually in
Stockholm Concert Hall The Stockholm Concert Hall ( sv, Stockholms konserthus) is the main hall for orchestral music in Stockholm Stockholm is the Capital city, capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban area in Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. 1 mill ...
on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death. The laureates receive a diploma, a medal and a document confirming the prize amount.


See also

*
List of Nobel laureates in Physics The Nobel Prize in Physics ( sv, Nobelpriset i fysik) is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Swedish language, Swedish: ''Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien'') is one of the Swedish Royal ...
*
Fundamental Physics Prize The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics is awarded by the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to awarding physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific ...
*
List of physics awards This list of physics awards is an index to articles about notable awards for physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science ...
*
Sakurai Prize The J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics, is presented by the American Physical Society at its annual April Meeting, and honors outstanding achievement in particle physics theory. The prize consists of a monetary award ($10,000 U ...
, presented by the American Physical Society *
Wolf Prize in PhysicsThe Wolf Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Wolf Prize in Agriculture, Agriculture, Wolf Prize in Chemistr ...


References


Citations


Sources

* Friedman, Robert Marc (2001). ''The Politics of Excellence: Behind the Nobel Prize in Science''. New York & Stuttgart: VHPS (
Times Books Times Books (previously the New York Times Book Company) is a publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refer ...
). , . * Hillebrand, Claus D. (June 2002)
"Nobel Century: A Biographical Analysis of Physics Laureates"
'' Interdisciplinary Science Reviews'' 27.2: 87–93. * (2010)
Evolution of National Nobel Prize Shares in the 20th Century
a
arXiv:1009.2634v1
with graphics: National Physics Nobel Prize shares 1901–200

an

* Lemmel, Birgitta
"The Nobel Prize Medals and the Medal for the Prize in Economics"
''nobelprize.org''. Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2006. (An article on the history of the design of the medals.)


External links


"All Nobel Laureates in Physics"
at the Nobel Foundation.
"The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies and Banquets"
at the Nobel Foundation.
"The Nobel Prize in Physics"
at the Nobel Foundation. {{Use dmy dates, date=January 2021 *Physics Physics awards Awards of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences