By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer
As of now, the winners of the 2017 Nobel Prizes have all been announced in preparation for the awards ceremony that will be held December 9, 2017. The categories include: Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, Literature, Peace, and Economics.
The winners for the Nobel Prize in Physics of 2017 are American physicists’ Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and American theoretical physicist, Kip S. Thorne, “for decisive contributions to the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) detector and the observation of gravitational waves,” according to the Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize.
The LIGO is the world’s largest gravitational wave observatory, and was responsible for making the first detection of gravitational waves produced by Neutron Stars. Such an event changes the way we are able to view the universe, as gravitational waves had yet to be viewed until now.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Swiss biophysicist Jacques Dubochet, German biophysicist Joachim Frank, and molecular biologist Richard Henderson, “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.”
This trio was able to create a new way to assemble accurate three-dimensional images of biological molecules, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. The foundation of all living organisms have never been shown as clearly as they are now, thanks to these European chemists.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology was awarded to American geneticists Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash, and American biologist Michael W. Young, “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”
These three American scientists were able to discover how one’s “inner clock” can optimize our psychology and behavior, and reveal how truly rhythmic human beings are inherently, even down to our very cells.
The first individual winner, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to novelist, Kazuo Ishiguro, a Japanese-born English citizen, “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”
He frequently includes themes such as mortality, and the fallibility of memory, which can be seen in two of his better known novels, The Remains of the Day, which tells the story of a butler for an English lord in the years prior to WWII, and Never Let Me Go, a melancholy love story taking place in a British boarding school.
One of the more controversial prizes, the Nobel Peace Prize, went to an organization many wouldn’t object to: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear-Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”
The ICAN played a vital role in the organization, Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a treaty signed by 53 nations to completely prohibit the development and storage of nuclear weapons within their borders. Thanks to the ICAN, the world is one major step further from total Nuclear proliferation.
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, or more commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics, was awarded to American economist Richard H. Thaler, “for his contributions to behavioral economics.”
Thaler was able to better bridge the gap between behavioral psychology and economics, truly revolutionizing the way economists are able to view decision making and make better use of it.
The Nobel Prize awards will be on December 9, 2017, and show the greatest minds of our generation, from physiologists to economists.