Ahead of the 2020 Nobel Week Dialogue we spoke to Donna Strickland about the challenge of learning physics – and why she thinks it’s so important to maintain an element of wonder when doing science.
Join us online in December to celebrate this year's Nobel Laureates!
Traditionally the Nobel Laureates travel to Stockholm and Oslo to receive their Nobel Prizes. This year we're taking the medals to them, and inviting you to join in all the festivities as we stream the 2020 award ceremonies, Nobel Lectures and much more online.
See the full programme here.
Meet astrophysicist Kip Thorne, who was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics "for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.".
In a wide-ranging conversation with host Adam Smith they cover Albert Einstein’s importance to the field of science, whether time travel is actually possible, and what it was like to be the physics guru inside the blockbuster film ’Interstellar’.
A team of female Yazidi deminers in Iraq attempting to clear their land of mines left behind by ISIS. A team of scientists on an extraordinary mission in Mozambique to help better our understanding of climate change. A man building prosthetic legs to help victims of war walk again in South Sudan ... All are inspired by Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
From genetic editing to combatting world hunger. An unmistakable poetic voice to black holes. New treatments for hepatitis C to the quest for the perfect auction. Now you can bring the discoveries and achievements made by the 2020 Nobel Laureates into the classroom.
The lessons are free and so easy to use that a teacher can look through the manual, watch the slides, print the texts for students and then start the class.
Three Laureates share this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries about one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole.
More about the prize
Popular information: Black holes and the Milky Way’s darkest secret
Scientific Background: Theoretical foundation for black holes and the supermassive compact object at the galactic centre
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 with one half to Roger Penrose “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity" and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez "for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy".
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.
Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. The genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.
This year’s Medicine Prize is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. The Nobel Laureates’ discovery of Hepatitis C virus is a landmark achievement in the ongoing battle against viral diseases.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus”. Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health.
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2020 is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.
Louise Glück made her debut in 1968 with Firstborn, and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 to the World Food Programme (WFP). The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security. In 2019, the WFP provided assistance to close to 100 million people in 88 countries who are victims of acute food insecurity and hunger.
This year’s Laureates, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, have studied how auctions work. They have also used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies. Their discoveries have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2020 to Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats”.
The new auction formats are a beautiful example of how basic research can subsequently generate inventions that benefit society. The unusual feature of this example is that the same people developed the theory and the practical applications. The Laureates’ ground-breaking research about auctions has thus been of great benefit, for buyers, sellers and society as a whole.
See the full list of all Nobel Laureates, awarded for "the greatest benefit to humankind".
Fifteen laureates were awarded Nobel Prizes in 2019. See a short presentation of them here.
See the list of all women awarded a Nobel Prize or a Prize in Economic Sciences so far.
Youngest Nobel Laureate ever is Malala Yousafzai. She was 17 years old when she was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
Chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel left 31 million SEK (today about 342 million dollars) to fund the Nobel Prizes.
When Alfred was five years old his father Immanuel, an inventor and builder, moved to St. Petersburg. Alfred joined him a few years later.
Based on Alfred’s work and patents a whole new industry developed. Within ten years, 16 explosives producing factories had been founded in 14 countries.
In his will of 27 November 1895, signed in Paris, Alfred Nobel specified that the bulk of his fortune should be used for prizes.
No person can nominate herself/himself for a Nobel Prize. But who can? And how are these persons chosen?
In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established.
Search among the names of the nominees and nominators, as well as additional information about the nominations 1901-1966.
Mohandas Gandhi has become the strongest symbol of non-violence in the 20th century. He was nominated several times, but was never awarded the prize. Why?
The world-renowned pianist Igor Levit will be performing at this year's Nobel Prize Concert on 8 December. At his side, he will have conductor Stéphane Denève leading the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
Vidar Helgesen – Norway’s former State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister of European Affairs and Minister of Climate and the Environment – will become the new Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation at the beginning of 2021. He will thus assume the task of strengthening the long-term finances and position of the Nobel Prize as well as further developing public activities surrounding the Nobel Prize in Sweden, Norway and internationally.
Read an interview with Vidar Helgesen.
The Nobel Foundation is a private institution established in 1900. Tasked with a mission to manage Alfred Nobel's fortune, the foundation has ultimate responsibility for fulfilling the intentions of Nobel's will.
The new center will be built at Slussen, with sweeping views of Stockholm harbour and the central city. For the past few years, Slussen has been undergoing a major renovation and reconfiguration. With its broad public activities, the Nobel Center will be an important piece of the puzzle in developing Slussen into a lively meeting place.
Masatoshi Koshiba passed away on 12 November. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2002 "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos."
Chemistry Laureate Mario Molina has passed away aged 77. He received the Nobel Prize for research concerning the ozone layer, which shields the Earth from dangerous solar radiation.
Arthur Ashkin, awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of optical tweezers, and their application to biological systems, passed away on 21 September at age 98.
Peace Laureate John Hume passed away on 3 August 2020. He shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with David Trimble "for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland."