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Each Nobel Prize consists of a gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money, the amount of which depends on the income of the Nobel Foundation.A Nobel Prize is either given entirely to one person, divided equally between two persons, or shared by three persons.In the latter case, each of the three persons can receive a one-third share of the prize or two together can receive a one-half share.Sometimes a prize is withheld until the following year; if not then awarded, it is paid back into the funds, which happens also when a prize is neither awarded nor reserved.Two prizes in the same field—i.e., the prize withheld from the previous year and the current year’s prize—can thus be awarded in one year.
Prizes are withheld or not awarded when no worthy candidate in the meaning of Nobel’s will can be found or when the world situation prevents the gathering of information required to reach a decision, as happened during World Wars I and II.
The prizes are open to all, irrespective of nationality, race, creed, or ideology.
They can be awarded more than once to the same recipient.
The ceremonial presentations of the awards for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and economics take place in Stockholm, and that for peace takes place in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death.
The laureates usually receive their prizes in person, and each presents a lecture in connection with the award ceremonies.
The general principles governing awards were laid down by Alfred Nobel in his will.