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Molecule, © 4X-image

The Nobel Prize
in Chemistry

Nobel Laureates


Facts

Awards: 107 Prizes to 172 Laureates
Prizes to one Laureate only: 63
Awarded women: 4

More facts about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Medal for Physics and Chemistry. Registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation. © ® The Nobel Foundation

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Awarded to 172 Nobel Laureates since 1901


"The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement ..."

(Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)

Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.


Molecule

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1901-2000

During the beginning of the 20th century chemistry flourished, and that time is intimately connected with fundamental developments.

Article: The development of modern chemistry

Did You Know?

107

Nobel Prizes in Chemistry have been awarded between 1901 and 2015.

63

Chemistry Prizes have been given to one Laureate only.

4

women have been awarded the Chemistry Prize so far.

1

person, Frederick Sanger, has been awarded the Chemistry Prize twice, in 1958 and in 1980.

35

years was the age of the youngest Chemistry Laureate ever, Frédéric Joliot, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935.

85

years was the age of the oldest Chemistry Laureate, John B. Fenn, when he was awarded the Chemistry Prize in 2002.

58

is the average age of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry the year they were awarded the prize.

All facts and figures about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry


Ahmed Zewail

"This is the last 20 minutes of peace in your life ..."

Ahmed Zewail, 1999 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, recalls the moment he got to know that he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Watch the video clip

2015 Chemistry Prize

DNA. Ill: © Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Ill: © Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

DNA Repair – Providing Chemical Stability for Life

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 was awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar.

Read more
Tomas Lindahl.  Photo: A. Mahmoud

"This turned out to be a minor disaster"

In this video interview, Tomas Lindahl recalls a change of schools and teachers in his youth, what brought him to science, what motivates him, and much more.

Watch to interview
Paul Modrich. Photo: A. Mahmoud

"When I was 15, I came across an ad for a set of radioisotopes ..."

Paul Modrich describes in his biography the way to science through experimenting at home.

Read the biography
Aziz Sancar. Photo: A. Mahmoud

"Nothing was known about the specific functions of these genes at the time"

Asis Sancar presented his work on photolyase and nucleotide excision repair in his Nobel Lecture

Read or watch the lecture

2014 Chemistry Prize

The principles of STED-microscopy. Ill: J. Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Optical Microscope Became a Nanoscope

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner.

More about the Chemistry Prize

Eric Betzig lecturing

"We knew we had to work fast"

Eric Betzig dedicated his Nobel Lecture about super-resolution optics to "all people taking risks but in the end failed".

Watch the lecture


Stefan W. Hell

"What I discovered is that you can overcome this barrier"

Watch Stefan W. Hell give a short and simple explanation of the fluorescence microscope.

Watch the interview clip


William E. Moerner

"A single molecule is incredibly tiny"

William E. Moerner describes his Nobel Prize awarded work in easy-to-understand terms.

Watch the interview clip


Why Chemistry Matters

Chemist

Many Facets

Learn about chemistry's many facets and why would one claim that chemistry is the 'queen of all sciences'.

Watch the video

Woods

Adventurous

Explore how Nobel Laureates compare their own research to the adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Watch the video
Colour explosion

A Beautiful Science

From molecules to equations to experiments, learn how and why chemistry is beautiful.

Watch the video