Nobel prize

The 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland for ground-breaking work in quantum optics. By probing the world at the smallest scales they've shed light on some of the biggest mysteries of physics and paved the way for quantum computers and super accurate clocks.

In 1982 Dan Shechtman discovered a crystal that would revolutionise chemistry. He has just been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery — but has the Nobel committee missed out a chance to honour a mathematician for his role in this revolution as well?

With Euorpean governments struggling to avert imminent disaster in the Euro zone, the award of this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences could not be more relevant. The prize has gone to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims whose work explores how and if policy decisions can affect the economy and how unexpected shocks spread through it.

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for a discovery that proved Einstein wrong and right at the same time.

Well, it goes to no-one because there isn't a Nobel Prize for maths. Some have speculated that Alfred Nobel neglected maths because his wife ran off with a mathematician, but the rumour seems to be unfounded. But whatever the reason for its non-appearance in the Nobel list, it's maths that makes the science-based Nobel subjects possible and it usually plays a fundamental role in the some of the laureates' work. Here we'll have a look at two of the prizes awarded this year, in physics and economics.

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics goes to two unusual economists
The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded.
Ground breaking work in uncovering optimal funding mechanisms in financial markets
There might not be a Nobel Prize for mathematics, but maths is at the heart of the 2006 Nobel Prizes.
Two game theorists share prize for their analyses of conflict and cooperation