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front of the Nobel PrizeAbout the Nobel Prizes

The Nobel Prizes are awarded each year in six different fields to persons, regardless of nationality, who have made valuable contributions to the "good of humanity." The awards are given for the most important discovery or invention in the fields of physics; chemistry; physiology or medicine; the most distinguished literary work of an idealistic nature; the most effective work in the interest of international peace; and the most outstanding work in the field of economic science. Prizes in the first five fields were first presented in 1901. The economics award was offered for the first time in 1969. The original five prizes consist of equal shares from the income of the $9-million estate of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. In his will, Nobel directed that his fortune be used in this way. The Swedish Central Bank established and provided money for the economics prize.

A candidate may not apply directly for a prize. A qualified person must submit each name in writing. The organizations that award the prizes appoint 15 deputies who elect a board of directors. The board holds office for two years and administers the funds. Winners receive their awards on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel. The peace prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway. The other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. Two or more persons may share a prize. Occasionally, prizes are not awarded or are awarded in a later year.

The Nobel Foundation's official website is

Alfred Nobel

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This page was last updated on February 03, 2017.