Nobel prize, established by the Swedish chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel is the most prestigious international award in recognition of academic, cultural and scientific advances.
This year’s Nobel Prize winners were announced recently who performed exceptionally well in their respective fields. Taking the opportunity of this, we’d like to recall some of the most renowned Nobel Prize achievers who will be remembered by the entire world forever.
This article gives a glimpse such legendary Nobel prize winners who, with their extraordinary intellect and talent contributed significantly to the field of sciences and literature
Any talk about science and its associated awards is impossible without the mention of his name. He was honoured with the Nobel prize in physics, for his extraordinary achievement of providing a suitable explanation of the photoelectric effect and the equivalence of matter and energy, all of which forms the base of the present-day quantum physics. This walking encyclopedia was honoured in the year 1922.
She was not only the first woman but the first person to win two Nobel prizes, and that too in two different fields. First, she won for physics in 1903 which glorified her discovery of radioactivity and later in chemistry which entitled her as the discoverer of the properties and the elements of polonium and radium. Thus, the prodigy contributed to the completion of chemistry’s periodic table and the establishment of the theory of the radioactivity of physics equally.
A roman catholic nun of Indian citizenship received the Nobel peace prize in 1971. She devoted 45 years of her life to the poor, needy, orphaned and deceased. Being the founder of the missionary of charity in Calcutta, many people owe their lives to her. Before her death in 1922 she also established homes for treating those suffering from HIV and thus attempted to destigmatize the disease.
Sir Alexander Fleming
The scientist who discovered the famous antibiotic penicillin which provides cure to serious bacterial infections of gonorrhoea, pneumonia, meningitis, scarlet fever and syphilis, received the Nobel prize for physiology in 1945. The discovery was somewhat accidental as Fleming, after returning from a trip found that the unwashed Petri dishes containing bacteria in his laboratory developed a fungus which killed the bacterial growth. He initially called it as “mould juice” but later named it penicillin on the name of its genus “Penicillium”.
Tagore was the first Indian to receive a Nobel prize in literature, for his profoundly deep, tender and heartwarming verses as well as poetry. The Bengali artist though wrote about varying literary genres, was originally a poet. Among his fifty and odd volumes of poetry are Manasi, Sonar Tari, Gitanjali and many more. He was honoured by the Swedish Academy of Stockholm in 1913.
A trained biologist received the 1946 Nobel prize in medicine for his exceptional discovery of the relationship between radiation exposure and lethal mutations. He spent a large proportion of his life studying the effect of X rays on different organisms which enabled him to establish a clear link between the two. Later the mastermind made efforts to carry out detailed research along with the spread of awareness about the harmful effects of radiation on our bodies and environment.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The youngest winner of the 1964 noble peace prize at the early age of 35 filled the entire world with delight. His tireless work in the United States to end racial discrimination was not only inspirational but also a ray of hope for all the dark-skinned people that existed during that time. His non-violent approach towards the civil rights movement and the “I Have a Dream” speech touched the hearts of millions and made him one of the rightful laureates of the prize.
Watson, Crick and Wilkens
Francis Crick and James Watson won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in the year 1962, for resolving the mystery behind the shape of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid which they found to be a double helix. Maurice Wilkins was felicitated along with the remaining two for providing supportive evidence for the theory. He provided the proof by means of a technique called X-ray crystallography. However, their honour remains controversial as a biophysicist called Rosalind Franklin already wrote a paper on the helical shape of DNA before them but due to some circumstances was not able to make her case to Nobel committee.
A prominent literary artist in 20th-century French philosophy was awarded the 1964 Nobel prize in literature. However, he refused to accept it as he felt it as an agent that would put a limitation on his future work. Also, in an interview to the press, he revealed that by accepting an award from a prominent western culture institution he doesn’t want to take a side in the eastern culture Vs western culture debate.
Heisenberg received the prize for physics in 1932 for finding out the laws and principles governing quantum mechanics. The credit of coming up with the ‘uncertainty principle’ which is known as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle on his name also goes to him. He predicted that it is impossible to find both the exact position and the velocity of a subatomic particle at the same time. His pioneering discovery was a milestone for quantum mechanics and forms the basis of modern-day quantum physics.
Robert Zimmerman who is known as Bob Dylan in the music industry was the first musician to receive the prize in literature for creating music with socially relevant, attractive and sharp lyrics. The creator of a poetic representation in the trendy American song tradition received the honour in the year 2016. Being a creator of many bands in his school days, it won’t be wrong to say that he was a musical genius right from the very beginning.
The Red Cross
This international community has won greater number of awards as compared to any single person or entity. Its exemplary work and initiatives during the first and second world war made it possible for it to achieve the Nobel peace prize in 1917 and 1944, which was followed by a third peace prize in 1963. Right from the monitoring of POW (Prisoner of War) camps of all parties involved in wars to providing medical aid to all the injured and acting as a means of exchanging messages to all the missing, Red Cross did all that was possible during that stressful time of calamity.
A Russian novelist and dissenter who spent a major portion of his life under the torture of a Soviet labour camp wrote critical letters about the communist regime. All these letters, writings, poems and verses were so impactful and deep that they enabled him to attain a Nobel prize in literature for the year 1970.
Sir Clive Granger
The British econometrician who astonished the world by his contributions and evolutionary techniques to analyse the economic data of time series, received the Nobel prize for economic sciences in the year 2003. His award was shared by Rovert F. Engle for a similar kind of research. His ideas and methods contributed to the development and application of new statistical methods which not only saved time owing to its Easy usage but also had a greater precision.
Without these paragons of creativity, extraordinary intellect and their exceptional approach towards ordinary things, it would have been impossible for mankind to do what it has done today with its field of sciences and literature. They indeed are an inspiration to every person living.