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Nobel Prize 2013 - The Winners So Far

Adithya Manjunath |
October 10, 2013 | 12:17 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Peter Higgs, one of the winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics. (Andrew Ranicki/Wikimedia Commons
Peter Higgs, one of the winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics. (Andrew Ranicki/Wikimedia Commons

Here's a quick look at the winners of the Nobel Prizes in 2013 (including one winner from USC) that have been announced so far, and what they are being honored for.

The Nobel Prize in Physics –

Winners: François Englert and Peter W. Higgs.

Englert and Higgs were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider". 

The theory explains how subatomic particles (particles even smaller than one atom), essentially the building blocks of matter, get their mass. This theory predicted the existence of what was then called the "Higgs Boson particle", and was proposed by both Englert and Higgs (albeit independently) in 1964.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry –

Winners: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel.

Karplus, Levitt and Warshel, all U.S.-based scientists from Harvard, Stanford and USC respectively, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems". 

The scientists developed computer-based models that were capable of predicting and analyzing complicated chemical reactions, which is incredibly useful for the pharmaceutical industry during the R&D process of creating new medicines.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine

Winners: James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof.

Rothman, Schekman, and Südhof were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine "for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells".

The three scientists, winners of the first Nobel Prize awarded in 2013, made key discoveries in certain important matter is moved around within a cell through vesicles, which are small bubbles present inside every cell.

The Nobel Prize in Literature

Winner: Alice Munro

Munro, an 82-year old Canadian short-story author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish academy, calling her a "master of the contemporary short story". Munro, who lives in Clinton, Ontario, is the 13th woman to win the prize, and has sold over 1 million books in the U.S. alone.

What's Left?

The Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize in Economics are set to be announced on Friday and Monday respectively. The contenders for the Peace Prize reportedly include Denis Mukwege, who was at USC on 7 October, and Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl from Pakistan who after recovering from being shot by gunmen from the Taliban just over a year ago, has traveled the world promoting education for women.



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