Pdf "A Century of Nobel Prize Recipients - Chemistry, Physics and Medicine"
There can be no doubt that the prestige associated with the Nobel Prize has been a driving force in the extraordinary advances in science throughout the course of the 20th century. The Nobel Foundation has given awards to no fewer than 450 scientists, men and women whose stories have assimilated themselves into the public consciousness along with their discoveries and inventions. In the beginning, the three "hard sciences"-chemistry, physics, and medicine-were clearly separated, but were later found to overlap frequently, physics often being the source of concepts and equipment that enabled progress in chemistry and medicine. Was not the first Nobel winner in physics, Wilhelm Rontgen, with his discovery of X rays, already on the brink of major therapeutic applications? And have not the radioactive elements that won the Nobel Prize in physics for Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie been used mainly in chemistry, especially cellular chemistry, allowing us to follow the successive steps of fundamental life processes such as photosynthesis or the Krebs cycle? The attribution of the Nobel Prize also brings to light a social effect that cannot be neglected: the advent of teamwork. It has become rare indeed for the prize to be awarded to one individual. On the contrary, it is increasingly common for two or even three researchers to be cited each year, regardless of the discipline. This corresponds to the interdisciplinary developments among the three aforementioned fields as well as the passion provoked by the extraordinary power of investigation of the scientific method.