Nobel Prizes 2011

Earlier this month the Nobel Prize for each of six categories was announced by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.  With few exceptions, these prizes have been awarded annually since 1901 for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace.  Since 1968 an additional prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, has also been awarded.  The prizes, which include a medal, a personal diploma, and a monetary gift, were established with funds willed for this purpose by Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, the creator of dynamite.  Nobelprize.org is the official web site for the award, and it contains a great deal of information.  There you can find a list of this year’s winners along with press releases announcing the awards, biographical information on Nobel, the names of winners from prior years, video interviews with previous recipients, and space in which to express congratulations to this year’s winners.
Listed below are the recipients for each of the prizes for 2011 as well as some references to library materials related to their work:

10/3, Physics:
Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess “for the discovery of accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.”
RL has a number of works on the expansion of the universe and supernovae, including:
Gravity’s Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe by Mitchell Begelman and Martin Rees.
 

10/5, Chemistry:
Dan Shechtman “for the discovery of quasicrystals.”
RL has at least two books which discuss quasicrystals, including:
Nanoscale: Visualizing an Invisible World by Kenneth S. Deffeyes and Stephen E. Deffeyes.

 
10/3, Physiology or Medicine:
Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann “for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity.”
And
Ralph M. Steinman “for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.”
RL has materials on all three of these topics (innate immunity, adaptive immunity, and dendritic cells), including:
Cellular Signaling and Innate Immune Responses to RNA Virus Infections edited by Allan R. Brasier, Adlolfo Garcia-Sastre, and Stanley M. Lemon.


10/6, Literature:
Tomas Tranströmer “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.”


10/7, Peace:
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Leyman Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
RL has:
This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf


10/10, Economic Sciences:
Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims “for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.”

RL has many works on macroeconomics as well as some authored or edited by Sargent, including:
Robustness by Lars Peter Hansen and Thomas J. Sargent.
In addition to the works listed and linked above, Rice Library has many titles on the Nobel Prize itself. Among these are:
Nobel Prize: The First 100 Years edited by Agneta Wallin Levinovitz and Nils Ringertz.
 
Two rather unique titles based on this subject are Prizes, a novel by Erich Segal and Oxygen: A Play in Two Acts by Carl Djarassi and Roald Hoffman.  Also, one cannot overlook the feature film A Beautiful Mind which tells the story of Nobel Laureate John Nash.  Finally, for more information on Alfred Nobel, consider the CREDO reference or Biography in Context databases.
 
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