Nobel Laureate Crossword Puzzle 1991 - 2000

Nobel Prize 1991-2000 crossword puzzle preview image

A major scientific event that occurred in the 1990’s was the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. While many will link the telescope with identifying and studying deep space objects, it also has strong aspects of chemistry. The Hubble space telescope has two spectrometers on it: the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) that was installed in 1997, and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) that was installed in 2009. It covers from 90 to 320 nm, or the vacuum ultraviolet to the mid-ultraviolet. It has studied a wide range of celestial objects, from white dwarfs and comet tails to ultraviolet light associated with the early universe. There were advances in vaccines such as Varicella (for chicken pox), Lyme Disease Vaccine, and the inactivated hepatitis A vaccine made it to market. In the early 1990’s the first genetically modified foods went to market. Computer science, particularly applied applications, made strides in the 1990’s. The first known web page was published, and Adobe Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990. The Space Shuttle Discovery, with 77-year-old John Glenn, was launched into space, the first component of the International Space Station was placed in orbit. There were many medical breakthroughs including the Human Genome Project, the Gamow bag for altitude sickness, radiosurgery for tumors and epilepsy, and the tiny camera on a pill for GI diagnostics. Many animals moved closer to extinction during the 90’s. The Rotund rocksnails, which was in the Coosa River (Alabama) saw its numbers dwindle to extinction when several dams were built on the river to generate electricity.  

Titanic, followed by Jurassic Park, Stars Wars and the Lion King, were the top grossing movies of the 1990’s. Some of the best-selling books were the Hot Zone, a true story about the Ebola virus, The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, Paradise by Toni Morrison, The Horse Whisperer and Oh, the Places you’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. Some key events in the 90’s included the Gulf War, the dissolution of the Soviet Union (USSR), President Clinton was impeached, NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented and Nelson Mandela was the first Black president of South Africa, and (to leave it on a STEM note), the mathematician Dr. Andrew Wiles solved Fermat’s last theorem, considered one of the oldest and hardest math puzzles.  


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. 


1. Diamond, ________ and fullerenes are the three allotropes of carbon.

4. The 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to Dr. Joseph Murray and  Dr. E. Donnall Thomas for successful research " discoveries concerning organ and cell ____________ in the treatment of human disease"  (from

5. During the 1990's there was a highly competitive race to map the Human _______,

7. CFC's pr Chlorofluoro_____ are molecules that were released into the atmosphere, also interfering with the oxygen-ozone cycle.  This caused ozone to degrade and subsequently not block UV light.

9. NMR spectroscopy involves a _______wave that is absorbed by the nucleus.

13. __________ uses the pump-probe approach to study a reaction.  The laser that pumps starts the chemical reaction, while the laser that probes measures  a remarkably short snippet of the reaction.

16. "Two-thirds of ______ drugs approved by the FDA between 1989 and 2000 were either modified versions of existing treatments or "copycats of drugs already on the market," rather than innovative medications, according to a study released May 28, USA Today reports (Appleby, USA Today, 5/29)."  Press release from KFF Health News.

19. Fullerenes, along with diamond and graphite are an _________ of carbon.

22. In the early 1990's, ________ fell apart as a country and Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia/Herzfegovina formed.  In addition, Montenegro and Kosovo lobbied for their independence.

23. The most common form of fullerenes is C60, a _______ allotrope of carbon.

24. The collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) took place from 1989 to 1992. A prelude to that major event was a speech by President Ronald Reagan with the famous quote "Mr. _______, tear down this wall." (refers to the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany).

27. Dr. Paul Boyer and Dr. John Walker won the 1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their research centered on understanding the natural enzyme based synthesis of _______ triphosphate (ATP)

29. Dr. John ____ won 1/2 of the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research in quantum chemistry.

30. In 1992 the Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida (called Fort ______ National Monument) was formed.  The Dry Tortugas are 70 miles from Key West.

32. ________ was the top-grossing movie of the 1990s.  It is also the 4th top-grossing movie of all time.

37. "On March 2, 1995, physicists at Fermilab announced the discovery of a subatomic particle called the top ______. It was the last undiscovered particle of the six-member _____ family predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics." (from Fermi Lab press release)

38. The 1990's had some influential technologies introduced including the World Wide Web (www), text messaging, Sony Playstation and _________.

40. Dr. Jens Skou was one of three scientists that shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with ion-_______ enzyme, Na+, K+, -ATPase.

43. The _______ Space Telescope was launched in 1990, over 30 years ago.

45. When an atom or a molecule loses an electron it is ___________, or LEO, Lose Electron ______

46. Dr. Walter Kohn won the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research developing density-________ theory.

47. "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000 was awarded jointly to Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa "for the discovery and development of ________ polymers"   (from "")

48. Conductive _______ are organic materials with unique electrical and optical properties like those found in inorganic metals and semiconductors.

49. A carbocation is a carbon atom with 3 single bonds, and has a positive charge. CH3+ is an example. They have also been called a __________ ion.



2. A prion is a misfolded _____ that can cause mistakes in folding (geometry/shape) of other proteins resulting in cell death.

3. Dr. Corey developed ________.  The chemist starts with the molecule they want to synthesize and works backwards. They break bonds in a model of the final structures and work backwards until they find structures that are readily available.

6. The first novel in the ultrapopular Harry Potter series, called Harry Potter and the ___________ Stone, was released in 1997.

8. _________ balls were named after Richard Buckminster Fuller who was an American architect that designed geodesic domes.

10. The _______ Earthquake Disaster took place in Japan in 1995. It killed over 5,000 people caused in excess of $100 billion in damages.

11. ________, graphite, and buckyballs are allotropes.  Oxygen (O2) and ozone (O3) are also allotropes.

12. In March 2003, the United States military invaded Iraq in order to destroy Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (___). They also intended (and did) remove Saddam Hussein.

14. Robert Curl, SIr Harold Kroto and Richard SMalley won the 1996 Nobel Prize for the discovery of ________.

15. C60 has _______ five membered rings in its structure.

17. The London Protocols on ozone (O3) involved over 90 countries. It upgraded the 1980's Montreal Protocols. It required the phase out of CFC's or _______.   CFC's interfere with the ozone cycle in the stratosphere, decreasing the lifetime of ozone molecules, allowing more UV to strike the earth's surface.

18. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy only works with nuclei that have a _____ spin greater than zero.

20. Dr. Stanley Prusiner won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of ______.

21. The International Campaign to Ban __________(ICBL) won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

25. The 1999 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Doctors Without _____.  They provide emergency medical aid around the world including warzones and infectious disease zones.

26. In 1993 a crew of  ________conducted repairs on the Hubble Space telescope (while in orbit) to restore its ability to function.

28. When an atom or a molecule gains an electron it is a ________ reaction.  GER stands for Gains Electron ______.

31. Dr. Ahmed Zewail won the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with transition states of chemical reactions and developed ________ spectroscopy.

33. ________, is a single sheet of graphite.  It is one atom thick.

34. The _______ genocide occurred in 1994 and up to one million people were killed in the African nation.

35. Toni Morrison, whose published works included Song of ______,  Jaz, and Beloved, about  black American life, won the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.

36.     This web site allows you to see what the Hubble space telescope observed on your _______. (try it!)

39. _______ functional  theory is a statistical based method  used to study many-body systems that involve molecules that are interacting.

41. Dr. Kary Banks Mullis, the Nobel Laureate for PCR, also drew some media attention because he liked to _____ and played the guitar.

42. PCR (_________ Chain Reaction) is a technique used to generate a large number of copies (billions) of copies of DNA.

44. The Nobel Prize in Physics 1995 was awarded "for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics" jointly with one half to Martin L. Perl "for the discovery of the tau lepton" and with one half to Frederick Reines "for the detection of the _________' from ""



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.