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About Nobel Prize
    The Nobel Prize is an international award given yearly since 1901 for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for peace. In 1968, the Bank of Sweden instituted the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize.

    The Prize Winners are announced in October every year. They receive their awards (a prize amount, a gold medal and a diploma) on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
    Alfred Nobel was born in 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. His family was descended from Olof Rudbeck, the best-known technical genius of Sweden's 17th century era as a great power in northern Europe.

    Nobel invented dynamite in 1866 and later built up companies and laboratories in more than 20 countries all over the world.

    On November 27, 1895, Nobel signed his last will providing for the establishment of the Nobel Prize. He died of cerebral haemorrhage in his home in San Remo, Italy on December 10, 1896.
    Alfred died in San Remo, Italy on December 10, 1896. In his last will and testament, he wrote that much of his fortune was to be used to give prizes to those who have done their best for humanity in the field of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.

    In 1901, the first Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature were first awarded in Stockholm, Sweden and the Peace Prize in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway.
    The first Prize Award Ceremony in 1901 at the Old Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.
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Walter Kohn


Walter Kohn was born in Vienna, Austria in 1923 to a Jewish family.  After the Nazis invaded Austria, he was able to escape to England through the Kindertransport program. His parents were killed in the Holocaust. During WWII he served in the Canadian Army.

After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, Professor Kohn received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Harvard University and did post –doctoral work at the Niels Bohr Institute.  In the early 1950’s, he worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories as an assistant to William Shockley, the leader of the group that invented the transistor.  He has taught at many universities and done collaborative research around the world.  In 1979 he was chosen to be the founding director of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where the first official group of foreign visitors he welcomed were physicists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.   He has received numerous awards including the Niels Bohr/Unesco Gold Medal and the National Medal of Science; his role in creating the most widely used theory of the electronic structure of matter earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1998.  He is an active member of the U.S. government’s Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee. His current project has been the making and world-wide distribution of a documentary on solar power entitled “The Power of the Sun”.

He is the father of three children and the grandfather of three. When at home in Santa Barbara, Dr. Kohn rollerblades on Saturday mornings.



Beijing Foreign Affairs Office