What are the Nobel Prize awards? Here's how much they're worth and who won in 2023.

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The coveted Nobel Prizes are announced annually, and the most recent installment is here.

This year's U.S. winners include Harvard professor Claudia Goldin, two University of Pennsylvania researchers for their work in developing mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, an Ohio State University scientist and three U.S. scientists from Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Nanocrystals Technology Inc.

With over 400 winners, the United States is the country with the most Nobel Prize winners.

What is the Nobel Prize?

The Nobel Prize is a set of awards given each year to those who “conferred the greatest benefit to humankind,” Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel said.

Nobel was an inventor, entrepreneur, scientist and businessman as well as a writer. When Nobel died, he left most of his fortune to establish these prizes, reflecting each of his interests. These categories are physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. There is also the Prize in Economic Sciences, created in 1968 with a donation from Swedish central bank Sveriges Riksbank.

The nomination process for Nobel Prizes begins in September each year, with thousands of academics, scientists, past winners and parliamentary members submitting candidates. According to the Nobel Prize organization, the nominators “are chosen in such a way that as many countries and universities as possible are represented over time.”

Nobel specified in his will that Swedish institutions would be responsible for selecting the winners of the Nobel Prizes and the Norwegian Parliament was to select the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He also asked the ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize be held in Norway. Today, Nobel Day is celebrated by presenting the Nobel Prizes on December 10, the day Nobel died. The other Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, as requested in Nobel’s will.

The only exception to the annual affair was during World War I and II, when the prizes were not handed out. There are also a few examples of specific Nobel Prizes not being awarded, like in 1972 when the Nobel Peace Prize was not given, the committee not providing a reason for the departure.

Nobel Prizes 2023: Two Penn scientists awarded for work with mRNA, COVID-19 vaccines

Who won the Nobel Prize 2023?

All categories were honored this year and announced in October 2023. Up to three people or institutions can split the award. Here's who won:

  • Nobel Prize in physics: Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L'Huillier “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter”

  • Nobel Prize in chemistry: Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov “for the discovery and synthesis of quantum dots”

  • Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine: Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19”

  • Nobel Prize in literature: Jon Fosse “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable”

  • Nobel Peace Prize: Narges Mohammadi “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all”

  • Prize in Economic Sciences: Claudia Goldin "for having advanced our understanding of women's labour market outcomes."

How much is a Nobel Prize worth?

Nobel Prize money comes from Nobel, who wanted his wealth to be invested into a fund for the prizes. The interest on that money is used for the prizes today. This year’s prize money was worth 11 million Swedish krona, or almost $993,000.

Who is the most famous Nobel Prize winner?

While some of the Nobel Prize’s archived winners are known more for their contribution than their fame, there are some well-known household names awarded over the century.

Four U.S. Presidents and one Vice President have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:

  • President Woodrow Wilson in 1920

  • President Jimmy Carter in 2002

  • Vice President Al Gore in 2007

  • President Barack Obama in 2009

Other notable laureates, according to the Nobel Prize archives:

  • Marie Curie won the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics along with her husband Pierre. Curie also won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

  • Ivan Pavlov won the 1905 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

  • Albert Einstein won the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics

  • Ernest Hemingway won the 1954 Nobel Prize in literature

  • Martin Luther King Jr. won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

  • Mother Teresa won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize

  • Desmond Tutu won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize

  • Elie Wiesel won the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize

  • Toni Morrison won the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature

  • Malala Yousafzai was one of two recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

  • Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature

Only two Nobel Prize laureates have ever declined the prize. French playwright Jean-Paul Sartre had a reputation for declining all official honors, and kept up that tradition with the 1964 Nobel Prize in literature. Le Duc Tho was responsible for negotiating a cease-fire agreement with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during the Vietnam War. The pair were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, but Tho declined, saying he was not in a position to accept it.

Adolf Hitler forbade three German Nobel Prize laureates from accepting the Nobel Prize, and Boris Pasternak, awarded the 1958 Nobel Prize in literature, was coerced by Soviet Union authorities to decline.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is the Nobel Prize and how do you win? See famous past winners.