Almost 110 years ago Alfred Nobel left a will outlining how to award what would become the most recognized academic prize in the world. This December 10, once again, the Royal Swedish Academy will impart the diplomas and medals that accompany the prizes, intended for scientists whose work has contributed to the benefit of humanity. For more details, visit www.sciam.com/ontheweb and nobelprize.org
Sarah Todd Davidson

  • PHYSICS: Roy J. Glauber, for his 1963 research on how coherent light (light waves traveling at the same frequency and phase) behaves at the quantum scale; and John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hnsch, for their description in 2000 of ways to measure precisely the frequency of that laser light.
  • CHEMISTRY: Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, for their development from the 1970s to the 1990s of socalled metathesis reactions, which allow new molecules to be built by replacing the ends of carbon compounds with different atoms.
  • PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE: Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren, for their discovery in the 1980s that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori plays a significant role in stomach ulcers and inflammation.
  • ECONOMICS: Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling, for their nearly half a century of work employing game theory to better understand human conflict and cooperation.