This December 10 th marks the one hundredth anniversary of when the first Nobel Prizes were awarded. Ever since, they have been a subject of great interest and debate.
Alfred Nobel died on 10 December 1896. When his will was opened it was found that he had donated his considerable wealth to creating the prizes that bear his name. Five prizes were mentioned: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace; and four prize-awarding institutions named: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (for physics and chemistry), the Karolinska Institutet (for physiology or medicine), the Swedish Academy (for literature) and a group appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, later called ``The Norwegian Nobel Committee'' (for peace). Sweden and Norway were then tied together in a union.