Stockholm: The season of world’s most prestigious award– the Nobel Prize, kicks off on Monday amid expectations that the physics prize will honour the discovery of the ‘God Particle,’ while a Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed by Taliban fundamentalists, could receive the peace prize. (Agencies)
The breadth of the field of candidates exemplifies how the Nobel Prize, seen by many as the planet's most prominent award, recognizes both intellectual struggles, along with the fundamental riddles of nature and real battle against violations of basic human rights.
But it is the award for groundbreaking medical research, which will be the focus of attention on Monday at about 1500 IST, when Goeran K Hansson, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, will step in front of the cameras at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute to announce this year's winners.
Only on Tuesday, it will be clear whether the predictions are correct and the discovery of the Higgs Boson - widely hailed as one of the greatest scientific achievements of the past century - gets the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Theorists opine that without the Higgs, human beings along with other joined-up atoms in the universe will not exist.
Despite this, there is some conjecture that the Higgs will miss out. Officially, there remains a remote possibility that the new particle, which was discovered last year is not a Higgs, but some other novel particle.
Awarding the prize for the Higgs also poses a conundrum for the Nobel Committee - Should theoreticians or practitioners - or a hard-to-decide mixture of both - be on the podium? And how to reward a breakthrough which took the efforts of thousands of individuals?
Maria Gunther Axelsson, a science editor, predicted that the prize would probably go some way towards recognizing the collective nature of the effort, which was behind the breakthrough.
"Francois Englert (from Belgium) is an obvious choice since he, along with Robert Brout, who died in 2011, was first to publish the theory behind the Higgs field," she wrote in a newspaper.
"Fabiola Gianotti (of Italy) and Joseph Incandela (of the United States) will share the other half of the prize, because they were first to come up with the experimental results," she forecast.
A record 259 nominations have been submitted for this year's peace prize but the Norwegian Nobel Institute never discloses the list, leaving amateurs and experts alike to engage in a guessing game ahead of the October 11 announcement.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager, who survived a shot to the head last year by the Taliban for championing girls' education, tops the list at bookmaker Paddy Power with odds 2-to-1.
Stockholm: The season of world’s most prestigious award– the Nobel Prize, kicks off on Monday amid expectations that the physics prize will honour the discovery of the ‘God Particle,’ while a Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and nearly killed by Taliban fundamentalists, could receive the peace prize.