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French And American Scientists Share Physics Nobel

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the United States for their work on the interaction between life and matter — in particular, the "fundamental interactions between light particles and matter."

"The Nobel laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direct observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

Each full Nobel prize is worth 8 million Swedish kroner — about $1.2 million. Haroche and Wineland will share that amount.

NPR's Richard Harris is due to be on Morning Edition and All Things Considered later today to talk about the physics prize. We'll have more on the physics prize shortly.

On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to John B. Gurdon of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, England, and Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University in Japan. They discovered that mature and specialized cells "can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body," according to the Nobel committee. It's hoped that such cells will lead to new treatments for many diseases.

The remaining Nobel prizes and the days they will be announced:

-- Chemistry on Wednesday.

-- Literature on Thursday.

-- Peace on Friday.

-- Economics next Monday.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


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