Test your Nobel knowledge

U.S. stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize
Photo: catwalker/Shutterstock

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

Question 1 of 21

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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 2 of 21

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Silver Medal Honoring the Presentation of the Nobel Prizes
Photo: Berlin-George/Wikimedia Commons
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 3 of 21

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2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
Photo: Pete Souza/White House/Wikimedia Commons
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 21

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Alfred Nobel photo portrait
Photo: Gösta Florman/Wikimedia Commons
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 21

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The Nobel Prize Laureates Hall at the National Institutes of Health
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How many Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1901?

Including the prize in economic sciences, there have been 573 prizes awarded between 1901 and 2015.

Question 6 of 21

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Nobel graphic with red NO
Photo: Hildabast/Wikimedia Commons
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 7 of 21

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Stortorget portrait of Alfred Nobel
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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 8 of 21

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Golden image of the Nobel Prize in front of the Science Museum in Singapore
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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 21

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1938 Nobel Prize ceremony
Photo: Karl Sandels/Wikimedia Commons
What is the youngest age of a Nobel Laureate?

The youngest recipient of a Nobel Prize was Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old at the time. Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Question 10 of 21

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Nobel ceremony in 2010
Photo: Utenriksdepartementet UD/flickr
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 21

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Women Nobel laureates
Photo: nobelprize.org
How many women have been awarded the Nobel Prize?

Only 48 women have won Nobel prizes as of 2015.

Question 12 of 21

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Mother Teresa, Marie Curie, Jane Addams, Grazia Deledda
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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 21

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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 14 of 21

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An illustration of the 1904 Nobel ceremony
Photo: David Wilhelm Ljungdahl/Wikimedia Commons
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 15 of 21

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Swedish kronor
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How much was each full Nobel Prize worth in 2016?

In 2016, each Nobel Prize amount is set at SEK 8 million, or about $927,000. Alfred Nobel designated SEK 31 million of his personal estate for the fund.

Question 16 of 21

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Microscope red lens flare
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The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three men for the invention of what?

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa designed and produced molecular machines. These tiny machines can be used for, among other purposes, medical purposes and for self-healing materials.

Question 17 of 21

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Winston Churchill in 1941
Photo: J. Russell & Sons/Wikimedia Commons
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 18 of 21

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 Nobel Peace Prize 1992
Photo: Mike Peel/Wikimedia Commons
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 19 of 21

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Golden Nobel medal
Photo: superjoseph/Shutterstock
Which country has not had any Nobel laureates?

No Brazilian citizen has ever received the Nobel Prize (Peter Medawar was born in Brazil, but he was a naturalized British citizen).

Question 20 of 21

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Golden Nobel medal
Photo: superjoseph/Shutterstock
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 21 of 21

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Nobel Prize in a dictionary
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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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