Test your Nobel knowledge

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Nobel by the numbers: How much do you know about the history of the Nobel Prize?

Question 1 of 20

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What achievement made Alfred Nobel famous?

Nobel invented dynamite by combining nitroglycerin with diatomaceous earth, patenting it in 1867. Though the element nobelium is indeed named after him, Nobel did not discover it.

Question 2 of 20

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How did the Nobel Prize originate?

Alfred Nobel's last will and testament dictated that his fortunes would be dispersed in a series of prizes. In fact, Nobel's family did not support his decision.

Question 3 of 20

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In which city is the Nobel Peace Prize awarded?

Nobel's will established a Norwegian committee to award the Peace Prize. All other prizes are presented in Stockholm, Sweden.

Question 4 of 20

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What was Alfred Nobel’s home country?

Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1833. He also lived in Paris, the United States and Italy, among other places.

Question 5 of 20

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Which of these is not an original Nobel Prize?

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (also called the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences) was created by its namesake, the central bank of Sweden, in 1968.

Question 6 of 20

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How many Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1901?

Including the prize in economic sciences, there have been 561 prizes awarded between 1901 and 2013.

Question 7 of 20

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How many people have been forced to decline the Nobel Prize?

Adolf Hitler would not allow three German Nobel laureates to accept the Nobel Prize, while the Soviet Union forced the 1958 Nobel Laureate in literature, Boris Pasternak, to decline his prize for political reasons.

Question 8 of 20

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Which of these statements is false?

Though Nobel Foundation rules forbid the award being giving posthumously, the rules have been broken no less than three times. Though, to be fair, two out of three posthumous awards occurred before the stipulation was added in 1974.

Question 9 of 20

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What is the youngest age of a Nobel Laureate?

The youngest recipient of a Nobel Prize was Lawrence Bragg, who was 25 years old at the time. Bragg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915.

Question 10 of 20

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What is the oldest age of a Nobel laureate?

The oldest recipient of a Nobel Prize was Leonid Hurwicz, who was 90 when he was given the prize for Economic Sciences in 2007.

Question 11 of 20

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How many women have been awarded the Nobel Prize?

Out of the 561 awards, less than 1 percent have gone to women.

Question 12 of 20

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Who was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize?

The first woman to receive a Nobel Prize was none other than Marie Curie, who won the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics along with her husband, Pierre. Curie, who also won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, was the only woman to receive the Nobel Prize twice.

Question 13 of 20

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3 things are given to Nobel laureates at the award ceremony. What are they?

Each diploma is hand-crafted by Swedish and Norwegian artists, while all medals traditionally show a portrait of Alfred Nobel on the front; the reverse side design depends on the institution. Each medal is engraved with the laureate’s name.

Question 14 of 20

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How much is each 2013 Nobel Prize worth?

This year, each Nobel Prize amount is set at SEK 8 million, or about $1.2 million. Alfred Nobel designated SEK 31 million (valued today at about $1.7 billion) of his personal estate for the fund.

Question 15 of 20

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Which Nobel Prize did Winston Churchill win?

Many believe the former British prime minister won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was nominated for it along with the Nobel Prize in literature and was only awarded the latter.

Question 16 of 20

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Which of these individuals was not nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?

Hitler was nominated in 1939 and Stalin was nominated twice, once in 1945 and again in 1948. Neither man was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Question 17 of 20

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In which year was Gandhi awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?

Gandhi was nominated five times but was never awarded the prize. His last nomination was in 1948, but he was assassinated soon thereafter. Though the committee technically could have awarded the prize posthumously (the rules allowed it up until 1974), they did not award the peace prize that year because “there was no suitable living candidate.”

Question 18 of 20

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Which country has not had any Nobel laureates?

No Brazilian citizen has ever received the Nobel Prize. Prizes have been awarded to citizens from 73 countries.

Question 19 of 20

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Which country has had the most Nobel laureates?

Including 2013 laureates, 350 winners of the Nobel Prize have been from the U.S., while 120 laureates were from the U.K., and 104 from Germany. Though it is the home of the Nobel Prize, Sweden has only had 30 laureates.

Question 20 of 20

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Which individual or organization has won the most Nobel Prizes?

The International Committee of the Red Cross received the Peace Prize three times, twice during the world wars and once again in 1963. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees won the Peace Prize twice. Four individuals, including Curie and Pauling, have won a Nobel Prize twice.

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