Nobel Laureate Crossword Puzzle 1951 - 1960

Nobel Laureates 1951-1960 Crossword

Co-authored by Thomas Manning*, Paige Bland*

*Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA

The 1950’s were filled with some technological breakthrough including Jonas Salk developing the first polio vaccine, the first hydrogen bomb was detonated by the USA, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created. The Soviet Union (USSR) launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite. Robert Noyce and Jack Kilby invented the first microchip, The Luna 2 spacecraft was the first man-made spaceship to reach the moon (it crashed). The first American astronauts were introduced by NASA; John H. Glenn, Jr. and Alan Shepard, Jr. and The St. Lawrence Seaway was completed. In the 1950s up to 50 million new cases of smallpox occurred worldwide each year. It would not be until the 1970’s that the smallpox vaccine finally ended smallpox. During the 1950’s the antibiotic groups; Tetracycline’s, Cephalosporin’s, and Aminoglycosides were introduced.

There were many political and civil events that took place including the start of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Great Chinese Famine began, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial public-school segregation is unconstitutional in a vote on Brown v. Board of Education. In 1955 the population of the United State was 161 million, in 2022 the population was 333 million. The middle of the 1950’s was the height of the baby boom caused by troops that fought during World War II and later the Korean War, coming home and settling down.


Nobel Prize


Here you will find 


The Nobel Prize is awarded every year in six disciplines; Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Physiology, Literature, Peace, and Economics. Alfred Nobel, active as an inventor and businessperson, left a will in 1895, to acknowledge "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind." Scientists can typically spend years or even decades developing their projects that can advance humanity. Once the concept or event has been brought into the public’s view, its impact is evaluated. The announcements of the year’s recipients take place in the fall of each year, with a ceremony held in Sweden typically in early December. The award includes a gold medallion, a diploma, and a significant monetary award. Awards are often correlated with popularity, as many Nobel Awards winners have been known to shape our society, from Watson and Cricks double helix structure of DNA and Marie Curie's work with radioactivity, to Jennifer Anne Soudan and Emmanuelle Charpentier work with CRISPR and Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless (his 2nd Nobel Prize) for their work with click chemistry. We are working on a series of puzzles that will provide some introductory material on every Nobel Prize awarded from 1901 to 2022. In addition, some key concepts in the Nobel Award in medicine and physics with strong links to various areas of chemistry will also be included. These will range from Watson and Cricks model of DNA to the Bohr model of the atom.

Our first educational puzzle submitted to ChemEd X was developed during the pandemic and focused on infectious diseases (see Using an Abbreviation Puzzle as a Method to Familiarize Students with Infectious Diseases)1. It allows players to learn something about over 150 infectious diseases using a strategic method.

Recently we developed a novel puzzle that allows students to think strategically while familiarizing themselves with the elements and their symbols from the periodic table (see Turning Element Abbreviations into a Strategic Exercise). Read this post for more information about the educational benefits of using puzzles.


This series of puzzles can be completed individually or in groups, and it can be used in a classroom setting or given as homework. And don’t forget, there are always a few parents and other family members that might enjoy the activity. 

Nobel Prizes 1951 - 1960



1. The percent abundance of the 3 ______ of carbon C-12, C-13 and C-14 are 98.89%, 1.11% and 2×10-10% .

4. The 1957 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Alexander Todd for his work in understanding the structure and function of  ________.

9. Pauling's Rules were developed to help understand crystal structures and to predict ________ numbers.

10. ______to the electron; it has identical properties to an electron, except for having the opposite (positive) charge

12. The 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell for precision nuclear _____ measurements.

16. Edwin ____ was awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize in chemistry.  His team accelerated neutrons to radiate uranium (92 protons) and create an artificial element (not in earths crust) with an atomic number of 93.

17. C-14 undergoes radioactive decay and produces N-14 and a ___particle.

18. The building blocks of DNA and ____ are composed of  nucleotides

19. _____ number ; nuclei with specific numbers of nucleons that are within the band of stability. The 7 most recognized magic numbers (# protons) are 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126.

24. A macromolecule is a large molecule of biological chemistry.  Example; protein or  _____ acid.

26. The 1952 Nobel Prize work laid the foundation for a common technique used in chemistry called nuclear magnetic ________ or NMR.

28. high-energy helium nucleus; a helium atom that has lost two electrons and contains two protons and two neutrons

29. ______ nuclide.  Nuclide produced by the radioactive decay of another nuclide; may be stable or may decay further

31. nuclear ______ :   substance that slows neutrons to a speed low enough to cause fission

34. Element 93 is a transuranium actinide that was first created in an artificial nuclear reaction. Its symbol is Np and it is called _____

35. _______counter ; instrument that detects and measures radiation via the ionization produced in a Geiger-Müller tube

36. _______(mCi).  larger unit for rate of radioactive decay frequently used in medicine; 1 Ci = 3.7  ×   1010 disintegrations/s

37. highly accurate means of dating objects 30,000–50,000 years old that were derived from once-living matter; achieved by calculating the ratio of  14C:12C   in the object vs. the ratio of  14C:12C  in the present-day atmosphere

40. _______(Gy)   SI unit for measuring radiation dose; 1 Gy = 1 J absorbed/kg tissue

42. conversion of a proton into a neutron, which remains in the nucleus, and a ______, which is emitted

44. The 1959 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Jaroslav Heyrovsky. He discovered ______ methods of analysis.

46. The weakest of the 4 forces is?

47. The 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Willard Libby for the development of a method that used _____-14 dating for age determination in subjects such as archaeology and geology.

48. ________ absorbed dose (rad)  SI unit for measuring radiation dose, frequently used in medical applications; 1 rad = 0.01 Gy

49. (Sv) SI unit measuring tissue damage caused by radiation; takes into account energy and biological effects of radiation

50. ______ equivalent man (rem). Unit for radiation damage, frequently used in medicine; 100 rem = 1 Sv

51. _______(Bq).  SI unit for rate of radioactive decay; 1 Bq = 1 disintegration/s

52. The half-life of C-14 is approximately 5730 years, which means the oldest objects that can be dated with this technique are approximately 50,000 years old.  Common items dated with this technique are dead ____(wood) or animal (bones) matter.

53. The 1952 Nobel Prize in Chemistry as awarded jointly to Archer John Martin and Richard Synge for their discovery of partition __________ .



2.     ______ counter instrument that uses a scintillator—a material that emits light when excited by ionizing radiation—to detect and measure radiation

3.     Nuclear ____ is when 2 nuclei collide to form a  heavier nucleus, often releasing large amounts of energy.  E = mc2!!

5.     Nuclear ________ , conversion of one nuclide into another nuclide

6.     The 1956 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Cyril  Hinshelwood and Nikolay Semenov for their innovative work understanding ______ of chemical reactions.

7.     The 1953 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Hans Krebs.  He discovered the _______ acid cycle.

8.     _____ ray   (? or  00?)   short wavelength, high-energy electromagnetic radiation that exhibits wave-particle duality

11.   Particles with the same mass but opposite properties (such as charge) of ordinary particles.

13.   A photon is a packet of __________ radiation

14.   _____-life (t1/2). time required for half of the atoms in a radioactive sample to decay

15.   Insulin a hormone synthesized in the pancreas by the Islets of _______ . These islets control  how much glucose is produced and distributed in the blood. An absence of insulin can result in one type of diabetes.

20.   The 1958 Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1958 went to Frederick Sanger. He did pioneering work in discovering protein structures, with an emphasis on _____.

21.   splitting of a heavier nucleus into two or more lighter nuclei, usually accompanied by the conversion of mass into large amounts of energy

22.   Ernest Hemingway won the 1954 Nobel Prize in literature for his literary work, specifically for his classic The Old Man and the Sea. The three main characters are _____ (the old man), Manolin (a young man), and the giant marlin whom the old man battles in the open ocean.

23.   In partition chromatography the ______ phase is a liquid film on a solid material, typically 3–15 micrometer silica particles. The small particles provide a large surface area.

25.   Similar to internal radiation therapy, but chemical rather than radioactive substances are introduced into the body to kill cancer cells.

27.   The most powerful of the 4 forces is the ____force?  Gravitation, electromagnetism, the ____ and the weak nuclear force are the four nuclear forces.

30.   Pauling's electronegativity scale starts with Fluorine (F; most electronegative = 4.0) to _______ (Fr: least electronegative = 0.6).

32.   The 1952 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Selman Waksman. He discovered streptomycin, and showed it was effective against _______, which is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Currently there are approximately two billion people on the planet that have some form of Tb.

33.   The 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Linus _____ for his work in describing the chemical bond, which also shaped our understanding of molecular geometries.

36.   _____ is the difference between the mass of an atom and the summed mass of its constituent subatomic particles (or the mass “lost” when nucleons are brought together to form a nucleus)

38.   electron _____ is the combination of a core electron with a proton to yield a neutron within the nucleus.

39.   measurement unit of nuclear binding energies, with 1 eV equaling the amount of energy due to the moving of an electron across an electric potential difference of 1 volt.  What is eV?

41.   The 1953 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Hermann Staudinger for his work in ________ chemistry.

43.   The 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Vincent du Vigneaud.  He worked with biochemically relevant sulphur compounds. S-2 is called _____

45.   ____ is a physical/analytical technique where an atom or molecule undergo oxidation (lose electrons) or reduction (gain electrons).  It takes place on the surface of a drop of mercury and involves an electrical voltage (potential). The Hg drops every few seconds generating a new/clean surface. (LEO = lose electrons oxidation / GER gain electrons reduction).


Provide students with blank puzzle and clues. Note there are two versions available. Both versions include clues but the more advanced version does not include a word bank.