Here's a look at what you need to know about the Nobel Prize, an international award given yearly for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics and peace.
Nobel Prize recipients, such as former President Jimmy Carter shown here, are called laureates.
The award consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash prize (8-million Swedish kroner (SEK) -- almost $1.2 million U.S. dollars as of September 2013).
The main inscription on one side of the Physics, Chemistry, Medicine and Literature Nobel Prize medals is the same: "Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes," loosely translated, "And they who bettered life on earth by new found mastery." Word for word translation, "inventions enhance life which is beautified through art."
Nobel prizes are announced in advance but awarded on Dec. 10, the anniversary ofSwedish chemist, engineer and industrialist Alfred Nobel's death.
Nobel died at age 63 in Italy in 1896. His will endowed the awards in five categories: Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Peace.
On June 29, 1900, the Nobel Foundation is established. It is the central body of the Nobel organization responsible for awarding the Nobel Prizes. This is the foundation's committee room.
The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901 with Frédéric Passy, co-founder of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Other winners are X-ray discoverer Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (physics), Jacobus van't Hoff (chemistry), poet Sully Prudhomme (literature) and German physiologist and microbiologist Emil von Behring (medicine or physiology).
Polish-born French physicist Marie Curie is one of just four people who have received the Nobel Prize twice.
No Nobel Peace Prizes were awarded between 1939 and 1943. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Peace Prize in 1937–39, in 1947 and a few days before he was assassinated in January 1948, but never received one.
A person must be alive to be nominated. If they die during the consideration period, their name will be removed. Only if a person is announced as a winner and dies prior to the ceremony, will a posthumous award be given.
A sixth award, Economics, was added in 1968 by the Bank of Sweden (Sveriges Riksbank) in the memory of Alfred Nobel.