Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award.

(Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)
“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

The Nobel Prize in Physics
Physics was the prize area which Alfred Nobel mentioned first in his will. At that time, in the end of the nineteenth century, many people viewed physics as the foremost of the sciences, and perhaps Nobel saw it this way as well. His own research was also closely tied to physics.

In 1901 the very first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Wilhelm Röntgen for his discovery of X-rays. In more recent years, the Physics Prize has been awarded for both pioneering discoveries and groundbreaking inventions.

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

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
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.

In 1901 the very first Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacobus H. van 't Hoff for his work on rates of reaction, chemical equilibrium, and osmotic pressure. In more recent years, the Chemistry Laureates have increased our understanding of chemical processes and their molecular basis, and have also contributed to many of the technological advancements we enjoy today.

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

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Alfred Nobel had an active interest in medical research. Through Karolinska Institutet he came into contact with Swedish physiologist Jöns Johansson around 1890. Johansson worked in Nobel’s laboratory in Sevran, France for a time that year. Physiology or medicine was the third prize area Nobel mentioned in his will.

In 1901, Emil von Behring was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on serum therapy, particularly for its use in the treatment of diphtheria. The Medicine Prize has subsequently highlighted a number of important discoveries including penicillin, genetic engineering and blood-typing.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Nobel Prize in Literature
Alfred Nobel had broad cultural interests. The interest that he developed in literature during his early youth lasted throughout his life. His library holds a rich spectrum of literature in different languages. Further evidence of Nobel’s literary interest was that during the last years of his life, he began writing fiction again. Literature was the fourth prize area Nobel mentioned in his will.

The very first Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 1901 to the French poet and philosopher Sully Prudhomme, who in his poetry showed the "rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect". Over the years, the Nobel Prize in Literature has distinguished the works of authors from many different languages and cultural backgrounds. The Literature Prize has been awarded to unknown masters as well as authors acclaimed worldwide.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Nobel Peace Prize
Alfred Nobel was interested in social issues. He developed a special engagement in the peace movement. An important factor in Nobel’s interest in peace was his acquaintance with Bertha von Suttner. Perhaps his interest in peace was also due to the use of his inventions in warfare and assassination attempts? Peace was the fifth and final prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will.

Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, shared the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901 with Frédéric Passy, a leading international pacifist of the time. In addition to humanitarian efforts and peace movements, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded for work in a wide range of fields including advocacy of human rights, mediation of international conflicts, and arms control.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five persons who are chosen by the Norwegian Storting (Parliament of Norway), Oslo, Norway.

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. The Prize is based on a donation received by the Foundation in 1968 from Sveriges Riksbank on the occasion of the Bank's 300th anniversary. The first Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen in 1969.

The Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, according to the same principles as for the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded since 1901.

2011 Nobel Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
Leymah Gbowee,
Tawakkul Karman

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011 was awarded jointly to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work".

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011
Tomas Tranströmer

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 was awarded to Tomas Tranströmer "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011
Dan Shechtman

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 was awarded to Dan Shechtman "for the discovery of quasicrystals".

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2011
Saul Perlmutter,
Brian P. Schmidt,
Adam G. Riess

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2011 was divided, one half awarded to Saul Perlmutter, the other half jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae".

2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Bruce A. Beutler
Jules A. Hoffmann

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was divided, one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity" and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity".