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Nobel Prize Dramas Play Out Online in Live Webcasts

You can watch live webcasts of this year's announcements for the Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry, peace and economics.
Image: Nobel medal
The Nobel Prizes are to be announced this month.Gunnar Lier / AFP - Getty Images file
/ Source: Live Science

Continuing a 113-year-old tradition, the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm is awarding the 2014 Nobel Prizes to the best and brightest minds in their fields — or, as the prizes' founder, Alfred Nobel, described it, those who have bestowed the "greatest benefit on mankind." And you can watch live webcasts for each of the awards.

The first revelation came Monday, when American-British scientist John O'Keefe and a Norwegian husband-and-wife team, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser, won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

More Nobel announcements will follow: Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, will announce the Nobel Prize in physics at 5:45 a.m. ET at the earliest (11:45 a.m. Swedish time) on Tuesday. [Watch Live: This Year's Nobel Prize Announcements]

The prizes for chemistry, peace and economics will be announced on Wednesday, Friday and Oct. 13, respectively. Per tradition, the Swedish Academy will set the date for the Nobel Prize in literature at a later time.

The prizes have a storied history. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was dismayed when a newspaper mistakenly published his obituary and called him the "merchant of death" for his creation. To brighten his legacy, Nobel left the vast majority of his fortune to fund prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. His predecessors awarded the first Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1969.

Nominating a contender is a lengthy process that begins in September, more than a year before the prizes are announced. Only people who have an official invitation or the proper qualifications can nominate a person for the prizes. Then the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Norwegian Nobel Committee pick a winner based on recommendations from experts in each field.

The prizes are awarded to the Nobel laureates during ceremonies in December.

Check out discussions on social media at #NobelPrize2014.

— Laura Geggel, LiveScience

This is a condensed and updated version of a report from LiveScience. Read the original report. Follow Laura Geggel on Twitter and Google+. Follow LiveScience on @Twitter, Facebook and Google+.