Through his discovery of dynamite and the patent granted him (1867), Swedish inventor and chemist Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) quickly built up a considerable fortune. In his will and testament he stated that his fortune should be used to “create a fund, the yearly interest on which should be distributed as a prize to those who have contributed the most to humanity in the past year” (since 1901 called the Nobel Prize). The sum was to be divided equally into five for prizes in the following areas: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.
At the time, no one knew the extent of the impact Doppler’s discovery would have on the development of some of these scientific areas. Currently, 19 Nobel Prizes have been awarded for achievements in medicine, technology, and natural sciences which would not have been possible without the use of the Doppler effect.
Proof of the Doppler effect through canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields
Johannes Stark (1874–1957, Germany)
The German physicist discovered the optical Doppler effect in canal rays in 1905. He could prove experimentally Doppler’s hypothesis that the movement of a source of light affected the frequency it emitted.
Research into the resonant and recoil-free emission and absorption of gamma radiation – the Mössbauer effect.
Rudolf L. Mößbauer (1929 – 2011, Germany)
Born in Munich, and at the age of 32, the youngest Nobel Prize winner at the time, Mössbauer discovered the following phenomenon: If an atomic nucleus is held within a crystal, its absorbtion behaviour is different to when it is in a free state, and in accordance with the Doppler frequency shift, the nucleus displays a different spectral line pattern.
Development of methods to cool and trap atoms with the help of lasers
For the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates
Contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique
Rationale for the award: “for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique.“
Image: Theodor Hänsch | Authorship not indicated in a machine readable format. Blinking Spirit is assumed to be the rights holder (based on rights-holder indications). Authorship not indicated in a machine readable format. It is assumed that it is an own work (based on the rights-holder indications)., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Research on cosmic background radiation
Discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae
Image: Saul Perlmutter by Holger Motzkau, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Image: Brian P. Schmidt by Tim Wetherell – photo taken by Tim Wetherell, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Image: Adam Riess by Holger Motzkau, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Discovery of the first exoplanet (Mayor & Queloz) and theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology (Peebles)
Image (left): European Southern Observatory, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-2.0), CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
Image (right): M.McCaughrean (ESA)/ESO, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-4.0), CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Forschung zu Schwarzen Löchern und Entdeckung eines supermassiven kompakten Objekts im Zentrum unserer Galaxie
Roger Penrose (* 1931, University of Oxford, UK)
Rationale for the award: “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity””
Andrea Ghez (* 1965, University of California, Los Angeles, USA) und Reinhard Genzel (* 1952, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany and University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Rationale for the award: “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy”