And on Tuesday, two men who predicted the existence of the Higgs boson particle 50 years before its discovery took the prize for physics -- Francois Englert of Belgium and Peter Higgs of the United Kingdom.
Higgs and Englert's theories of the elusive particle explained what gives matter its mass and played a key role in completing scientists' understanding of the nature of all matter.
Since 1901, the Nobel Committee has handed out the Nobel Prize in chemistry 105 times. In certain years, mainly during World Wars I and II, no prize in chemistry was awarded.
The youngest recipient was Frederic Joliot, who won in 1935 at the age of 35. The oldest chemistry laureate was John B. Fenn, who was 85 when he received the prize in 2002.
Frederic Sanger was the only scientist to win the chemistry prize twice for his work related to the structure of proteins and DNA.
There is a fine line between the science of chemistry and the fields of physics and biology. Famed female scientist Marie Curie of France, for example, won Nobel honors for her work in radiophysics in 1903 and again in 1911 for discoveries in radiochemistry.
The committee also will announce prizes in literature, peace and economics in the coming days.
Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel created the prizes in 1895 to honor work in physics, chemistry, literature and peace. The first economics prize was awarded in 1969.