Tag Archives: physics

Jewish Nobel Prize Winners 2013

So I haven’t really been keeping this blog up to date. The little I have posted has just been random rants. But I thought for the Nobel Prizes, I’d go back on topic again.

This year’s Nobel prizes were awarded this past week. The laureattes were as follows:

Physiology or Medicine: James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof
Physics: François Englert and Peter Higgs
Chemistry: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel
Literature: Alice Munro
Peace:  Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Economic Sciences: Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, Robert J. Shiller

The Jewish laureates are in bold. Of the 12 individuals to win awards, 6 were Jewish. This should be a surprising figure if you consider that only 0.2% of the world’s population is Jewish, or that less than 2% of the American population is Jewish. But it’s something we’ve come to expect. This happens year in year out. What’s the explanation for it? I don’t know. If you look around this blog, you’ll see various attempts at explaining the phenomena. None of them really do it for me. The explanation would have to be a multitude of reasons combined together I think, but I don’t really know.

Two of the winners, Levitt and Warshel are Israeli, but they now live in the US. A pity they’re not teaching or doing research at Israeli universities.

Source for which winners are Jewish: jinfo.org.


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Jewish 2012 Nobel Prize Winner for Physics

Well done to Serge Haroche for winning this year’s Nobel Prize for Physics with David Wineland. They were awarded the prize “for groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems” according to the Nobel Prize website.

Haroche is a French Jew of Moroccan descent. Wineland definitely sounds like he could be Jewish, but I haven’t been able to clarify for certain whether he is Jewish or not. I assume he isn’t, but only because I haven’t found a source saying he is Jewish online yet and everyone has been writing about how Haroche is Jewish.

See here for a full list of this year’s Nobel Prize winners. So far only the Physics and Physiology/Medicine Nobel prizes have been awarded this year. The other Nobel prizes will be awarded in the next week.

Last year, there were five Jewish Nobel Prize winners. Overall, Jews have won approximately 20% of the Nobel Prizes awarded to date. An extremely impressive statistic considering Jews constitute only 0.2% of the world’s population.


And finally here’s an inspirational story that I read on Wikipedia today:

John Gurdon was awarded the Lasker Award in 2009 and this year’s Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. But this is what Wikipedia his past:

Gurdon attended Eton College, where he ranked last out of the 250 boys in his year group at biology, and was in the bottom set in every other science subject. A schoolmaster wrote a report stating “I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist; on his present showing this is quite ridiculous.”

Quite impressive. Now he was obviously very bright, since he attended Oxford University, but that was to study Classics. He wasn’t a very good biologist at a young age. Just goes to show “Impossible is Nothing”.


Filed under Nobel Prize

5 out of the 7 2011 Nobel Prize Winners are Jewish so far

So far this year’s prizes have been awarded for Physics, Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine.

Physics winners: Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, Adam G. Riess

Chemistry winners: Daniel Shechtman

Physiology or Medicine winners: Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann, Ralph M. Steinman

Out of the 7 names above, at least 5 are Jewish. Brian P. Schmidt is not Jewish and Jules A. Hoffman seems to least have had a Jewish father (see here). The prize for Literature, Peace and Economic Sciences will be awarded later this week.

Daniel Shechtman and family

Daniel Shechtman and family

Daniel Shechtman is an Israeli and is a professor at the Technion in Haifa. This is Israel’s tenth Nobel Prize in it’s 63 year history. Israel, a country with a population of only 7.5 million and a country that has constantly been under attack since it’s founding, by enemies on all sides.

As for total Jewish Nobel Prize winners, here are the stats from jinfo.org:

Chemistry (31 prize winners, 20% of world total, 27% of US total)

Economics (28 prize winners, 42% of world total, 55% of US total)

Literature (13 prize winners, 12% of world total, 27% of US total)

Peace (9 prize winners, 9% of world total, 10% of US total)

Physics (47 prize winners, 25% of world total, 36% of US total)

Physiology or Medicine (53 prize winners, 27% of world total, 40% of US total)

Just to point out that there are only 13.3 million Jews on the planet and about 6.7 billion people in the world. The Jew constitutes less than 0.2% of the world’s population. That’s 1 in 500! Yet the Jews have won about 1/5 of all the Nobel Prizes ever awarded.

“And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, as dew from the Lord, as showers upon the grass…” Michah 5:6

See here for the list of the 2011 Nobel Prize winners.


Filed under Academics, Nobel Prize