The Nobel prizes are some of the most sought after awards for many scientists and are the ultimate accolade that scientists or leaders can receive. The Prizes are funded by
Some great individuals have been awarded these prizes to celebrate some of the greatest scientific and humanitarian achievements of our time. Here are the top 10 Nobel prize winners.
10. Robert Koch (1905 Prize for Medicine)
Robert Koch was German-born medical doctor and scientist in the late 19th and early 20th century. From a very early time in his career, he studied the causes of diseases and believed that many diseases were caused by living parasitic organisms.
He was known as the father of bacteriology and was credited with isolating and identifying the organisms responsible for some of the most deadly diseases of his time, tuberculosis, anthrax, and cholera. His discoveries led to massive improvement in medicine and hence earned him the No. 10 spot on our list of the top 10 Nobel prize winners.
9. Ernest Hemingway (1954 Prize for Literature)
Few authors of the 20th century have had such a profound influence on story-telling and writing style as Ernest Hemingway. He is regarded as a master story-teller and his contemporary style has influenced generations of writers of both his generation and many generations to come.
8. Max Planck (1918 Prize for Physics)
One of the most influential physicists of his time, and a peer of Albert Einstein. Max Planck received the Nobel Prize for physics for his work to develop the quantum theory of subatomic particle and universal movements. Planck was also the discoverer of the proportionality between the energy of a photon of radiation and its wavelength. Used in modern physics as the Planck constant.
7. Enrico Fermi (1938 Prize for Physics)
Among the many scientific discoveries that Fermi is credited with, the most important is probably the creation of the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. The principle on which modern nuclear power generation is based.
Other discoveries Fermi is famous for and the subject of his Nobel Prize in Physics was the observation of the formation of new radioactive isotopes when substances are radiated with neutrons.
Fermi was a very well known nuclear physicist and was also a collaborator on the Manhattan project of the United States government to build the first atomic bomb during the Second World War.
6. Watson, Crick and Wilkins (1962 Prize for Medicine or Physiology)
Few other discoveries in the medical science have changed the way in which we observe the human body. The discovery of the double helix structure of DNA has completely changed the understanding of human biology. The model proposed by James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins is the foundation on which modern molecular biology is built and has clarified the biology of genetic data transfer and hereditary diseases. Their discovery has paved the way for a whole new generation of medications for treatment of genetic diseases.
5. Sir Alexander Fleming (1945 Prize for Medicine or Physiology)
Sir Alexander fleming was a well-known researcher in bacteriology and made it on our list of top 10 Nobel prize winners which would be incomplete without the man who discovered penicillin. He was also famous for his extensive research on wound infection and the antibacterial action of the enzyme Lysozyme which is found in saliva and tears.
4. Marie Curie (1903, Prize in Physics, 1911, Prize in Chemistry)
Marie Curie is the only other person beside Linus Pauling to be awarded two Nobel Prizes. She was one of the most influential scientists of the early 20th century. The research done by the research group led by her and her husband Pierre led to a much-improved understanding of radiation. The 1903 Prize in physics was awarded to Marie Curie, Pierre Curie and Antoine Henri Becquerel for their groundbreaking work in radiation. Curie was later awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911 for the discovery of the radioactive elements polonium and radium.
An interesting fact is that Marie Curie and her immediate family have been awarded five Nobel Prizes. Curie herself won two awards, her husband Pierre shared the 1903 Physics Prize with her. Their daughter Irene Joliot-Curie won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935 with her husband and the husband of their second daughter (Eve Curie) was the director of UNICEF when the organization won the Peace Prize in 1965.
3. International Committee of the Red Cross (3 Prizes for Peace, 1917, 1944, 1963) and Henry Dunant (1901 Peace Prize)
Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Red Cross was the first recipient of the Nobel peace prize in 1901. Dunant founded the Swiss Red Cross Organization in 1863 as an independent impartial aid organization who protect the rights and care for those injured during or affected by military conflict. The organization is the entity that has been the awarded the most Nobel Prizes. The first in 1917 after World War I, was awarded for the work the organization had done during the war. The second, in 1944 was awarded in recognition of the selfless and often dangerous work of the organization in the care of prisoners of war during the second world war.
The third award that was awarded to the Red Cross in 1963 coincided with the centenary of the organization and was awarded to recognize the great work they do.
2. Linus Pauling (1954 Prize for Chemistry, 1962 Prize for Peace)
Linus Pauling was an American scientist and the second individual person to receive two Nobel Prizes. He is the only person to have won two undivided Prizes. The first award was in 1954 for his groundbreaking research in the field of chemical bonds and how chemical bonds form in complex substances.
He was a very vocal peace activist and showed very strong opposition to the nuclear arms race between the USA and Russia after World War II. For his role in the signing of nuclear test ban theory by the 5 superpowers, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962.
1. Albert Einstein (1921 Prize for Physics)
The most famous of the Nobel Laureates on this list. Albert Einstein who is most famous for his theory of relativity which describes the movement of planets and stars and also how subatomic particles interact. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his discovery of the photoelectric effect describing how substances emit electrons when absorbing light.
Einstein who was born in Germany did most of his work on relativity in the United States and was also strongly opposed to he use of nuclear weapons in war.