Alfred Nobel His Prizes

.. need for cutting labor costs. At this point Alfred and his father were tragically reminded of the peril of nitroglycerine due to the Heleneborg disaster in which Emil was killed as well as some others.4 After this point both Alfred and Immanuel were emotionally traumatized. Soon after Emils death Alfred focused on the manufacturing methods of nitroglycerine and eventually created conditions in which it was rendered harmless. In speaking of Alfred Nobels response to the death of his brother Evlanoff states: He blamed himself with bitterness He mourned that he had not been able to accomplish this sooner, so Emil need not have died.

He could never forget the dreadful day of the Heleneborg disaster to the end of his life.3 Following the Heleneborg disaster, Alfred experienced much success and fortune from his invention of dynamite. Immanuel Nobel passed away on September 3, 1872 and Alfred was left without his father.3 Such losses manifested themselves in Alfreds psyche and disposition. Alfred wrote to Bertha von Suttner: There is nothing more that I love than to feel myself capable of enthusiasm. But this faculty was considerably diminished by my life experiences and my fellow men.5 The remainder of Alfreds life consisted of building upon his fortune and pursuing his love, invention, as well as other love interests. One of his most substantial contributions was indeed the Nobel Prize, which he established prior to his death and willed a large sum of money for before he died. For Alfred Nobel, the idea of giving away his fortune was no passing fancy. He had thought about it for a long time and had even re-written his will on various occasions in order to weigh different wordings against each other.

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On November 27, 1895, Nobel signed his final will and testament at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris.5 The Nobel Prize was established through the wishes of Alfred Nobel for categories of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace, and economics (added in 1969).5 The prizes are awarded to those individuals who, in the opinion of a panel of judges, have made the most important discoveries, inventions, or improvements in these fields. The extent of practical usage is not necessarily a means of assessing the importance of the advances, however, prospective impact is always considered. Alfreds main purpose behind the creation of the awards was to further promote peace and benefit humanity. If the prizes established by Alfred Nobels contributions are examined from a psychological point of view one may trace the source of the prize in regards to why Alfred Nobel held the subject matter in high esteem. As far as the sciences are concerned it is quite simple to evaluate the source of Alfreds love for scientific research and discovery.

Quite evidently throughout his adolescence and manhood his father whom he loved a great deal and held in high regard stimulated his sense of inquiry and invention. Personally Alfred dedicated his career to studying chemistry in the laboratory; hence there is an award for chemistry. Alfred was also an individual who was quite logical and able to apply his knowledge in a pragmatic sense to further technology and improve many aspects of life; hence the award for physical science or physics. The award for medicine may have been influence by multiple sources. First of all, the individual who discovered nitroglycerine, Sobrero, was interested in medicine.

In addition throughout Alfreds life he had suffered from physical ailments and had been deprived the comfort of good health, vigor, and well-being. These experiences could have very probably manifested themselves through his need to create a Nobel Prize for Medicine. In addition to an interest in the sciences, Alfred Nobel was an avid writer and skilled poet as well as a distinguished linguist. Such exposure to the humanities most likely influenced Nobel to want to create an award for achievements in writing and/or literature. Finally, the peace prize is said to be the offspring of the relationship between Alfred and Baroness Bertha von Suttner. Alfred hired Bertha as a secretary or sorts and began a relationship with her that would stay in his thoughts for the rest of his life. During their correspondence Bertha von Suttner became increasingly critical of the arms race.

She wrote a famous book called Lay Down Arms and became a prominent figure in the peace movement.3 No doubt this influenced Alfred Nobel when he wrote his final will that was to include a prize for persons or organizations that promoted peace.1 Several years after the death of Alfred Nobel, the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) decided to award the 1905 Nobel Peace Prize to Bertha von Suttner.4 Having discussed the subjects thought worthy by Nobel of awarding a Nobel Prize we may also look at one subject in particular which was neglected, mathematics. There are two primary theories as to why mathematics as a field may have been excluded from the list of those subjects to be rewarded by a Nobel Prize. The first theory, for which there is minimal historical evidence, states that Gosta Mittag-Leffler, a renowned mathematician, and Alfred Nobel both competed for the attention of a woman.6 The assertion is thus that Nobel, owing to some residual animosity, left math out of the list of subjects for which individuals were rewarded. A second more credible hypothesis states that at the time there existed already a well-known Scandinavian prize for mathematicians. If Nobel knew about this prize he might have felt more compelled to add a competing prize for mathematicians in his will.6 Nobel, an inventor and industrialist, did not create a prize in mathematics simply because he was not particularly interested in mathematics or theoretical science. His will speaks of prizes for those inventions or discoveries of greatest practical benefit to mankind.

Furthermore, mathematics is the base field. It is a gateway to understanding many of the other subjects listed by the Nobel Prize institution. Math is inherently present in Physics, Chemistry, Economics, and Medicine. Hence, Nobel may have deemed the presence of mathematics as unnecessary or understood and implicit. Alfred Nobel’s greatness lay in his ability to combine the penetrating mind of the scientist and inventor with the forward-looking dynamism of the industrialist.1 Nobel was very interested in social and peace-related issues and held what were considered radical views in his era. He had a great interest in literature and wrote his own poetry and dramatic works.

As we have seen through his lifetime and existence, the Nobel Prizes became an extension and a fulfillment of his lifetime interests, and a tool for penetrating the partition between the sciences and humanity. Bibliography 1. Nobel e-Museum. Alfred Nobel-His Life and Work. 30 August 2000.

2. Schck, H. et al. Nobel. The Man and His Prizes. Stockholm.

Solhmans Frlag, 1950. 3. Evlanoff, Michael and Fluor, Marjorie. Alfred Nobel-The Loneliest Millionaire. Washington D.C.

Ward Ritchie Press, 1969. 4. Sohlman, Ragnar. The Legacy of Alfred Nobel. London.

The Bodley Head, 1983. 5. Frngsmyr, T. Alfred Nobel. Stockholm. Swedish Institute, 1996.

6. Crawford, Elisabeth. The Beginnings of the Nobel Institution. London. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1984. History Essays.