The Nobel Prize is a set of annual awards given to the extraordinary minds in the fields of science, academic and culture. The categories of the prize were formed by the Swedish and Norwegian committees. The prize is given as per the will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, which was established in 1895. The prizes were first awarded in 1901. Later on in 1968 Sweden’s Central Bank included another category in the Nobel Prize i.e. Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and is referred to as the Nobel Prize in Economics.
History of Alfred Nobel
The Nobel Prize is based on the will of the great inventor, Alfred Nobel who was an inventor by nature and a pacifist by heart. Born on 21st October, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden, Alfred Nobel is famous for the discovery of dynamite. At the age of 9, Alfred along with his mother, Andrietta Ahlsell and siblings moved to St. Petersburg, Russia to live with his father, Immanuel Nobel, who was living there for past 5 years. His father was a builder, inventor and architect who had contracts from the Russian Government to develop defense weapons. Alfred was tutored at home until age of 16, many considered him to be as a self-educated man. He also spent two years in travelling, in which he spent time working in laboratories in Paris and the US. After returning back to St. Petersburg, he joined his father’s factory and started working there until his father’s bankruptcy in 1859. Later on he began experimenting on nitroglycerine and created his first explosion in 1862. In October 1863 he received a Swedish patent for his Nobel Lighter.
Moving back to Sweden, Alfred started helping his father in his invention and established a small nitroglycerine factory in Helenborg. Unfortunately, the factory blew up in 1864 because of an explosion which killed his younger brother Emil. Soon he established a new factory and led to the invention of safe to manage explosive, Dynamite in 1867. Alfred recognized the destructive power of the dynamite to bring peace in the world, but he wasn’t able to see peace during his time. On 10th December 1896, the great chemist and inventor died suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage.
Will of Alfred Nobel
During his lifetime, Alfred wrote several wills, but the last one was which he wrote 27th November 1895. As per Nobel’s last will about 94 percent of his establishment was supposed to divide into 5 prizes and must be given to the people who have brought great benefits to the mankind in five different fields i.e. Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Peace and Literature. 5 years after the death of Alfred Nobel, first set of Nobel Prizes were given in all 5 categories on 10th December 1901. The personalities who received the first set of the Nobel Prizes were:
• Wilhelm C. Rongten for Physics
• Emil A. von Behring for Physiology or Medicine
• Jacobus H. van’t Hoff for Chemistry
• Jean H. Dunant and Frédéric Passy for Peace
• Rene F. A. Sully Prudhomme for Literature
With the exception of the Nobel Peace prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway, the remainder of the Nobel prizes is awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prize was built from the mixture gold and silver with 24 carat gold coating. All these prizes are awarded yearly and each laureate or recipient is awarded with a gold medal, a certain sum of money and a diploma, which is decided by the Nobel Foundation. Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Economics are awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Swedish Academy awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is given by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.