Quiz: Noble winners

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 09, 2016


On December 10, 115 years ago, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

What follows is a quiz on the Nobel Prize and some of its better-known recipients.

1 With whom did pacifist Frederic Passy share the first ever Nobel Peace Prize awarded?

2 Four people have received two Nobel Prizes. Marie Curie for physics and chemistry, Linus Pauling for chemistry and peace, and Fredrick Sanger twice for chemistry. Who is the only person so far to win the Nobel Prize twice for physics?

3 Fill in the blanks. In 2006, Geir Lundestad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, “The greatest omission in our 106 year history is undoubtedly that ____ ________never received the Nobel Peace prize. _______ could do without the Nobel Peace prize. Whether the Nobel committee can do without ________is the question.”

4 Rosalind Franklin was definitely a key contributor to the research on the structure of DNA, which won Watson, Crick and Wilkins a Nobel award in 1962. Why did she not win the award?

5 Which well-known physicist and writer, who won the Nobel Prize in 1965, was one of the key people on the Roger’s Commission which ultimately determined the cause of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in 1986?

6 Understandably, four of Ireland’s eight Nobel laureates have been from the field of literature. Three of them are Seamus Heaney (1995), Samuel Beckett (1969) and William Butler Yeats (1923). Who is the missing Laureate?

7 Ernest Rutherford, regarded as the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday, won the Nobel Physics award in 1908 and was the first person from which country to win the award?

8 The tiny island of Saint Lucia, with a population of around 170,000 has actually managed to win two Nobel awards. One was the economics prize to Arthur Lewis in 1979. Which was the second?

9 With regard to awards, what connects Barack Obama, Bob Dylan, Mikhail Gorbachev and Jimmy Carter?

10 Who won a Nobel Prize in literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values?”


1. Jean Henri Dunant, who founded the International Red Cross movement after his experiences at the Battle of Solferino

2. John Bardeen, for the invention of the transistor in 1956 and the theory of superconductivity in 1972

3. Mahatma Gandhi, who was due to win the 1948 Nobel Peace Award before he was assassinated. The award was not given to anyone that year

4. Nobel Prizes are never posthumously awarded. Franklin died of cancer four years before their efforts were recognised

5. Richard Feynman. He established that there was a problem with the Shuttle O-Rings

6. George Bernard Shaw, for literature in 1925

7. New Zealand; the only others are Maurice Wilkins for physics in 1962 and Alan MacDiarmid for chemistry in 2000

8. To Derek Walcott, for literature in 1992

9. They are the only people to win both Nobel and Grammy Awards. Other than Dylan, the rest won it for spoken word albums

10. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

Published on December 09, 2016
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