©Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Nobel Prize lessons – Physics prize 2021

Hidden patterns in the climate and in other complex phenomena

Teacher’s guide

A Swedish version of the lesson is available at nobelprizemuseum.se

This is a step-by-step timetable for the Nobel Prize lesson – a ready to use lesson on the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics. The lesson is designed to take 45 minutes.

How can we predict things that are complex and disordered?
Our world is full of complex and disordered phenomena and processes. For example, the climate can be described as a system of many components that interact in various ways. How can we describe and predict how such systems change? This is what the 2021 Nobel Prize laureates in physics have explained. The laureates’ models have been used to demonstrate how elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere lead to higher temperatures on the surface of the earth, and to show that global warming is the result of humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases.

Teacher’s Guide (PDF 30Kb)

1. Warm-up (5 min)
Ask your students the following questions.

  • What is the Nobel Prize?
  • Why is it called the Nobel Prize?
  • Are you familiar with any Nobel Prize laureate?

2. Show the video about Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prize (5 min)

3. Slideshow (15 min)
Show the slides, using the speaker’s manuscript.

Slideshow (PDF 2,6 MB)

Speaker’s Manuscript (PDF 400 Kb)

4. Show the interview with an expert in the field  (2 min)

5. Student worksheet (10-15 min)
Let your students work individually with the questions and then discuss their answers with a classmate.

Student Worksheet (PDF 70 Kb)

6. Conclusion (5 min)
Summarise what you and the class have understood, and what you have not understood. You can work with the latter on another occasion.

Links for further information
Press release for the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics
Popular information for the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics

To cite this section
MLA style: Nobel Prize lessons – Physics prize 2021. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2021. Mon. 18 Oct 2021. <https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel-prize-lessons-physics-2021/>