Nobel laureates honored with week of festivities in Stockholm

This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry is being awarded to Japanese scientist Akira Yoshino. Along with America's John Goodenough and Britain's Stanley Whittingham, Yoshino is being recognized for his contributions to the development of the lithium-ion battery, a fundamental component of wireless electronics.

Yoshino is now in Stockholm for Nobel Week, a series of events and festivities leading up to the award ceremony on December 10.

Nobel Week

On December 5, the laureates visited the Nobel Prize Museum. They signed chairs at the museum cafe, a recent tradition.

In the days since, they have given their Nobel lectures, an opportunity for them to speak about the significance of their work.

Yoshino spoke about the path of his research and its significance during his lecture.

Yoshino's lecture was titled "The Brief History and Future of Lithium-ion Batteries." He gave it to an audience of about 1,000 at Stockholm University on Sunday.

Yoshino spoke about the experiments he conducted to improve the safety of the batteries. He said he knew they could be put to wide use when they did not spark or catch fire, even when shocked.

He also presented a video of a future in which self-driving electric vehicles are used by everyone. He concluded his lecture by saying the lithium-ion battery will play a central role in innovations that soon lead to a sustainable society.

The ceremony

The week culminates with the awards ceremony and banquet on December 10, coinciding with the anniversary of inventor Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

The ceremony for most of the awards will begin at 4:30 p.m. at a concert hall in central Stockholm. The Peace Prize will be awarded separately in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

Nobel Week culminates with the awards ceremony. (2018)

At the ceremony, the laureates will be awarded their medals and diplomas from the Swedish King in front of more than 1,500 guests. This will be followed by the banquet, held at the Stockholm City Hall. The menu is a tightly guarded secret, with just a few hints being dropped in the press release. This year, the food will be based on “top-quality ingredients and Swedish flavors” and the chefs will make use of every part of the ingredients in an effort to reduce waste.

The banquet menu was prepared by 47 chefs over four days.

The meal is capped with coffee and liqueurs, at which point representatives of the winners of each prize will deliver speeches. The banquet concludes with a dance at around midnight.

Last year’s Nobel Prize banquet

Free admission on Nobel Day

Even if you missed out on an award or aren't one of the dignitaries invited to the banquet, you can still take part in the festivities. On December 10, admission to the Nobel Museum will be free of charge. The chairs signed by this year's laureates will be on display, along with other items they have donated.