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Noble Prize 2016

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Noble Prize 2016

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, and/or scientific advances Any of six international prizes awarded annually for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and the promotion of peace.

List of the Nobel Prize 2016:

• Physics

David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz- “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”

These theoretical discoveries revealed the possibility of a bizarre world where matter can take on different, and strange, states. Using advanced mathematics, the trio examined weird states of matter, such as superfluids, or substances that behave like liquids but have zero viscosity or resistance to flow. In superfluids, there is no friction impeding the liquid’s flow and so its particles act as one super particle. Other exotic states of matter include thin magnetic films and superconductors.

• Chemistry

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa- “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”

They have developed the world’s smallest machines by linking together molecules into a unit that, when energy is added, could do some kind of work. These machines, a thousand times thinner than a strand of hair, included a tiny lift, mini motors and artificial muscles.

• Physiology or Medicine

Yoshinori Ohsumi- “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy “in which cells take unneeded or damaged material, including entire organelles, and transport them to a recycling compartment of sorts – in yeast cells, this compartment is called the lisosome, while vacuoles serve a similar purpose in human cells.

• The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel

Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström- “for their contributions to contract theory”

The two economists provided “a comprehensive framework for analysing many diverse issues in contractual design, like performance-based pay for top executives, deductibles and co-pays in insurance, and the privatisation of public-sector activities.”

It has become especially relevant in the years after the 2008 financial crisis, which was blamed on the short-term risk encouraged by huge cash bonuses paid to investment bankers. It also touches on themes of moral hazard, which arises where those that take the risks don’t share in the costs of failure.

• Literature

Bob Dylan- “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”

• Peace Prize

Juan Manuel Santos- “for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”

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