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2010 Nobel Prizes

Posted by: Aminu Irfanda Supanda

The Nobel Prizes in different fields that are awarded are the most prestigious awards in the world. The prizes were established in accordance to the will of Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist, who invented dynamite. The prizes instituted in 1901 according to his will were for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, Literature, and Peace. The prize commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics is actually the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel which was established in 1968. While it is not actually a Nobel Prize, the announcement for the same is made with all the other categories, with the exception of the Peace Prize which is awarded in Norway. The Nobel Prize 2010 was awarded this month and the list of the winners is given below.

Nobel Prize 2010 Winners List

Every Nobel Prize winner is given as a part of his prize, a gold medal, a diploma, and a cash prize, the amount for which differs every year. This cash award depends on the income of the Nobel foundation in the year that the Prize is being awarded. There are some criterion that govern the Nobel Prize. The prize cannot be given posthumously, and cannot be shared by more than three people.

Nobel Prize 2010 Chemistry
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2010 was awarded to three scientists, American scientist Richard F Heck, and Japanese scientists, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki. They were awarded the prize for the work they have done in the field of palladium catalyzed coupling reactions in organic synthesis.


Professor Richard F. Heck lecturing at University of Delaware.
Photo: University of Delaware
Kindly provided by University of Delaware

Professor Akira Suzuki lecturing

Professor Akira Suzuki lecturing at Hokkaido University, October 1979.
Photo: Hokkaido University
Kindly provided by Hokkaido University

Nobel Prize 2010 Medicine
The developer of in vitro fertilization wins Nobel Medicine Prize was the headlines on 4th Oct 2010 when Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2010 was awarded to Robert G Edwards for his work on the development of in vitro fertilization. He is a pioneer in this field and was one of the first person along with surgeon Patrick Steptoe to develop the method that led to the birth of the first test tube baby in 1978. He was praised by the Nobel Committee for working continuously for the treatment of infertility.

Early human embryos

Human embryos developing in vitro. The photos show a fertilized egg, 8-cell stage, cell adhesion, a compacted morula, a blastocyst and zona hatching.
Photo: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Early_human_embryos.png)

In vitro fertilization

A light microscope image showing in vitro fertilization of an ovum. A needle (right) is used to inject a sperm cell directly into a human egg (centre). The broad object (left) is a pipette used to hold the ovum steady while the needle is inserted.

Nobel Prize 2010 Physics
There were two recipients for the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 2010; Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. They received the award for their groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene, which is widely heralded to be the next big thing after plastic. Konstantin Novoselov has the distinction of being one of the youngest recipients of the award, and Andre Geim is the first person to win both the Nobel and the Ig Nobel in the same year. Geim won the Ig Nobel for an experiment which caused a frog to levitate magnetically.


Graphene is an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice made of carbon atoms.
Photo: Alexander Alus, licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Graphene molecules  "extracted" from bulk graphite

Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fallen mesa of graphite. This is the way graphene molecules were “extracted” from bulk graphite. To be reasonably visible in SEM, we show a 10 nm carbon flake (30 layer thick).
Kindly provided by University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Nobel Prize 2010 Peace
Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize 2010 for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He is a writer and human rights activist who has been a proponent of democratic reforms who has been imprisoned on four different occasions starting 1989. At the time of being declared as the recipient of the Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo was (and still is) serving his fourth prison term. In 2009 he was convicted and sentenced to eleven years in jail on the charges of spreading a message to subvert the country and authority..

Nobel Prize 2010 Literature
Peruvian writer and journalist Mario Vargas Llosa is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature of 2010 for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat. He is considered one of the greatest contemporary authors famous for novels like The Time of the Hero, The Green House, and Conversation in the Cathedral.

Nobel Prize 2010 Economics
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Peter Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen, and Christopher A. Pissarides. They were awarded the prize for economics for their work on search frictions and macroeconomics.

The Nobel Prize is regarded as the highest honor in every field that it is awarded. More often than not the Nobel Prize, especially for Peace and Literature is surrounded by controversy and allegations that the prizes were politically motivated. The declaration of the winners of the Nobel Prize 2010 has been marred by relatively fewer controversies, though there were objections to the Peace prize from the government of China and to the Physiology prize. The Nobel Prize, despite all these controversies continue to be one of the most important prizes in the world today and is a great honor.


1. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/nobel-prize2010.html

2. NobelPrize.org – The Official Web Site of The Nobel Prize


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