HomeMedals and TokensNate D. Sanders to Auction 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics

Nate D. Sanders to Auction 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics

Nobel was Awarded to Theoretical Physicist Dr. Kenneth Wilson

By Nate D. Sanders Auctions …..

The 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Dr. Kenneth Wilson will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on May 26. It is only the 19th Nobel Prize to go under the hammer. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online.

Kenneth Wilson was a theoretical physicist who was famous for his work in condensed matter physics, which won him the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics. He was also known as a founder of lattice gauge theory, a cornerstone of high-energy physics.

Born in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1936, Wilson received an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Harvard and earned his PhD at CalTech in 1961. Wilson subsequently joined the physics faculty at Cornell University. There, he developed a theory to explain the critical point behavior of matter undergoing a phase transition, such as a magnetic material losing its magnetism above a temperature known as the Curie point.

In subsequent work, Wilson formulated a mathematic expression for predicting the consequences of quantum chromodynamics and the related computer algorithms. Quantum chromodynamics is the foundation for the study of the strong nuclear force. In 1988, Wilson joined the faculty at The Ohio State University; he died in 2013.


The Nobel Prize is made of 18-karat gold. The front of the medal features the relief portrait of Alfred Nobel and includes his name, and the date of his birth and death. The verso features a relief of the Goddess Isis and the Genius of Science. Encircling the medal are the words “Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes” translating to “And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.” Wilson’s name and the year 1982 in Roman numerals are engraved on the medal below the relief of the two figures. The inscription, “Reg. Acad. Scient Suec” is the abbreviation for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Etched upon the medal is Erik Lindberg’s name, the designer of the Nobel medal. The 173-gram medal is displayed in its original maroon leather case with Dr. Wilson’s name stamped in gold.

The Nobel Prize comes with a letter of authenticity from Dr. Wilson’s widow.

In May 2015, Nate D. Sanders auctioned Dr. Leon Lederman’s Nobel Prize in Physics for $765,002.

Bidding for the Nobel Prize begins at US$450,000.

Additional information on the Nobel Prize can be found at:


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