This week marks the announcement of Nobel Prizes for 2023. The six prizes recognise individuals and groups for their contributions to particular fields.
Here is some information about this year’s winners and why they won:
Keep readinglist of 3 items
Nobel Prize in medicine: Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman
The US-based duo won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Monday for research that led directly to the first mRNA vaccines to fight COVID-19.
The Hungarian-born Kariko and American Weissman conducted research at the University of Pennsylvania on modifying mRNA. They started looking into this in the late 1990s and published a key finding in 2005. According to the awarding body, the Karolinska Institute, this research enabled the development of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna.
Nobel Prize in physics: Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier
The trio won the prize in physics on Tuesday for conducting experiments that produced pulses of light so short that they were measured in attoseconds, or one-billionth of one-billionth of a second. Their research can help provide images from inside atoms and molecules.
The breakthrough allows, for example, for blood samples to be examined with light flashes to detect any changes, opening the possibility of early detection of diseases such as lung cancer.
L’Huillier is only the fifth woman to win a Nobel in physics.
Nobel Prize in chemistry: Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov
The trio won the award in chemistry on Wednesday for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots. Quantum dots are particles that are so small that their properties are determined by quantum phenomena.
Researchers believe that this technology can pave the way for the development of flexible electronics, tiny sensors, thinner solar cells and encrypted quantum communication.
In a very unusual turn of events, Swedish media reported the names of the winners before the prize was announced.
Nobel Prize in literature: Jon Fosse
The prize in literature was awarded to the Norwegian author and dramatist John Fosse on Thursday.
Fosse was recognised by the Swedish Academy “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”.
Fosse, 64, has written about 40 plays as well as novels, short stories, children’s books, poetry and essays. His work has been translated into about 50 languages.
Nobel Peace Prize: Narges Mohammadi
The Iranian rights activist won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. She was chosen from 351 nominees.
Mohammadi, who has been has served multiple prison sentences for the past two decades, is best known for her fight for freedom and against oppression of Iranian women.
“Woman, life, freedom,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. She recited the slogan that is now associated with the women’s movement in Iran as she announced Mohammadi as the winner.
One Nobel remains. The prize for economics will be announced on Monday.