The Nobel Prize Winners 2016: Complete List – GK Updates:
Dear Readers, Once again intelligence, perspiration and hard work have met the best of minds globally with the announcement of Nobel Prizes for the year 2016. The winners are shining and the perfect embodiment of perseverance in their respective field; silently working towards their end goals and for humanity on the whole, either it be Juan Manuel Santos, the Prime Minister of Colombia or Japanese physiologist Yoshinori Ohsumi. However, Americans continuing their dominance in Nobel Prize have once again ruled the roost.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2016:
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 was divided, one half awarded to David J. Thouless, and the other half jointly to F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected them for their individual researches.
The discoveries have paved the way for designing new materials with all sorts of novel properties that have significant potential to revolutionize advances in electronics and future quantum computers.
Research work centers on Topology, a branch of mathematics involving step-wise changes like making a series of holes in an object.
For example when matter goes from solid to liquid to gas different phases are obvious, but materials can also undergo topological step changes which affect their electrical properties. Such changes can be seen in a superconductor, which at low temperatures conducts electricity without resistance.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016:
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded jointly to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has chosen them for this award for their individual efforts in developing molecular machines. These three laureates will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (around $933,000) prize equally.
Molecular machines or nanomachines are the world’s smallest machines. Their working is inspired by proteins that naturally act as biological machines within cells. Molecular machines are discrete number of synthetic molecular components fused together. They produce quasi-mechanical movements in response to specific external stimuli such as light or temperature change.
Molecular machines can be developed to function as artificial muscles to power tiny robots or even prosthetic limbs in case of Bionics.
They may lead to developments like new sensors, materials and energy storage systems. They can be used to deliver drugs within the human body directly to target a specific area of tissue to medicate or cancerous cells.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016:
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2016 was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy”. With this, the sole winner becomes the 23rd Japanese national to win a Nobel prize and overall the sixth Japanese medicine Nobel laureate.
Autophagy is a process whereby cells “eat themselves”. It is a fundamental process in cell physiology dealing with how the body breaks down and recycles cellular components.
Ohsumi’s discoveries in Autophagy have led to a new paradigm in the understanding of how the cell recycles its content. In his research, Mr. Ohsumi had used baker’s yeast to identify genes essential for autophagy.
Ohsumi’s research had located the genes that regulate this self-eating process and also related that errors in these genes can cause disease. His findings have opened new path to understand importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as how body adapts to starvation or responds to infection.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016:
US folk singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, originally Allen Zimmerman has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for having “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
Dylan has been a popular choice for consideration over the years, despite his work not fitting into the traditional categories of novels and poems usually favoured by the judges.
The Nobel Peace Prize 2016:
The Nobel Peace Prize 2016 was awarded to Juan Manuel Santos”for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”.
Santos and the leader of the FARC rebel group, Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, were both considered leading contenders for the prize after signing the peace deal in September 2016 to end 52 years of war.
The Nobel Prize in Economics 2016:
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded jointly to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström “for their contributions to contract theory”. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected them for their contributions to contract theory which tells how contracts help people deal with conflicting interests.
Their individual theories on contract theory are valuable to the understanding of real-life contracts and institutions, as well as potential pitfalls in contract design.
Their work provided economists microecomic tools to understand interactions between entities, such as design of performance incentives in firms, corporate governance, privatisation, constitutional law and entrepreneur-investor relationships.
Must Know facts about Nobel Prize:
The Nobel Prizes were founded by Swedish industrialist and scientist Alfred Nobel who invented dynamite in 1866.
In his will dated November 27, 1895, Nobel dedicated a mammoth share of his fortune to honour work by awarding prizes in five areas – Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Peace. Economics was added in 1969.
The Nobel Prizes are announced in advance but distributed every year on December 10 to mark the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prizes for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Economics are awarded at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded at a different ceremony in Oslo, Norway.
The inscription on the Nobel Peace medal is- “Pro pace et fraternitate gentium,” which means – “For the peace and brotherhood of men.”
Posthumous nominations can’t be made for Nobel Prizes. More than three people can’t share a Nobel Prize.
Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani child education activist, is the youngest person to achieve the Nobel at the age of 17 in the year 2014.
More Downloadable Materials for Upcoming IBPS PO 2016: