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FACTBOX. Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine, in Physics, in Chemistry, in Literature, and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences will be announced starting from October 2, 2017. The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced in Oslo, Norway, on October 6.
Since 1904, Nobel Prizes were awarded to twenty-four Russians: two in Physiology or Medicine, twelve in Physics, one in Chemistry, two in Economic Sciences, five in Literature, and two Peace Prizes.
Nikolay Semyonov was the first Soviet Nobel Laureate. In 1956, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Cyril Nirman Hinshelwood of the United Kingdom, for his work on the mechanism of chemical reactions. The two chemists, independently from each other, elaborated a chain reaction theory in the later 1920s.
Academician Nikolay Semyonov, one of the founders of chemical physics and the author of the theory of thermal disruptive discharge of dielectric, was among the founders of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (1951). His work on the theory of chain reactions was awarded the USSR’s Stalin Prize in 1941. His other Soviet awards include the Orders of Lenin and of the Red Banner of Labor, and the Lenin Prize. He was a member of foreign academies, including the New York Academy of Sciences. In 1963-1971, Semyonov was Vice President of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
Russian physiologist, Professor Ivan Pavlov won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his work on the physiology of digestion to become Russia’s first Nobel Laureate. Academician Pavlov, the founder of the Society of Russian Physiologists and the Institute of Physiology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, developed the theory of higher nervous activity.
Elie Metchnikoff, the father of innate immunity, the founder of gerontoloy (the comprehensive study of aging and the problems of the aged) and discoverer of the significance of phagocytosis in development, homeostasis and disease, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1908, together with Paul Ehrlich of Germany, for his work on immunity.
A team of Russian physicists - Pavel Cherenkov, Ilya Frank and Igor Tamm - were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1958 for the discovery of Cherenkov radiation, or electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle (such as an electron) passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium.
In 1962, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Lev Landau for "for his pioneering theories for condensed matter, especially liquid helium." As he was in hospital after a car crash, the prize was awarded to him in Moscow by the Swedish ambassador to the USSR.
Soviet physicists Nicolay Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 "for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle". US physicist Charles Hard Townes arrived at similar results independently from the Soviet researchers, so the 1964 Nobel Prize was divided between the three, with Townes being awarded one half.
One half of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1978 was awarded to Pyotr Kapitsa "for his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics" (he had been working on since the 1930s).
In 2000, Russian physicist Zhores Alferov shared one half of the Nobel Prize with Herbert Kroemer of Germany "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed-and opto-electronics."
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2003 was awarded jointly to Alexei Abrikosov (who was granted US citizenship in 1999), Vitaly Ginzburg and British and American physicist Anthony J. Leggett "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids".
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene." Andre Geim left the Soviet Union in 1990 and later was granted the Dutch citizenship. Konstantin Novoselov left for the Netherlands in 1999 and later received the British citizenship.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1933 was awarded to Ivan Bunin "for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing."
In 1958, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Boris Pasternak "for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition." Initially, he accepted the Nobel Prize but later was forced by the Soviet authorities, which pressed him for his novel Doctor Zhivago he had published abroad, to decline the prize. Nevertheless, his descendants received a medal and a diploma in his name in Stockholm in 1989.
Soviet/Russian writer Mikhail Sholokhov was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1965 for his famous novel And Quiet Flows the Don with the wording "for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people." Sholokhov was one of nine authors to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature for a concrete work.
In 1970, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn "for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature." By that time, he was in an open conflict with the Soviet authorities. Being afraid to be banned to reenter the country after the awarding ceremony, Slozhenitsyn refused to go to Stockholm to receive his prize. Eventually, he received it in 1974 after being stripped of the Soviet citizenship and expelled from the country for publishing his The Gulag Archipelago abroad.
Poet Joseph Brodsky, who emigrated to the United States in 1972, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity."
Soviet Academician Andrei Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 for his advocacy of civil liberties and civil reforms in the former Soviet Union. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him "a spokesman for the conscience of mankind."
The first and the last Soviet Union president, Mikhail Gorbachev, the architect of policies, known as perestroika and glasnost, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community."
The Sveriges Riksbank Prizes in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
Wassily Leontief, a US economist of the Russian origin, was awarded the Prize in 1973 "for the development of the input-output method and for its application to important economic problems."
In 1975, the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded jointly to Soviet mathematician and economist Leonid Kantorovich and Tjalling C. Koopmans of the United States "for their contributions to the theory of optimum allocation of resources.".