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Nobel Prize in chemistry

The 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to Akira Yoshino (left), M. Stanley Whittingham and John B. Goodenough for the development of lithium-ion batteries. Dmitry Lovetsky; Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University; The University of Texas at Austin via AP hide caption

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Dmitry Lovetsky; Jonathan Cohen/Binghamton University; The University of Texas at Austin via AP

Biochemical engineer Frances Arnold receives the Millennium Technology Prize 2016 during the awards ceremony in Helsinki, Finland. Arnold, an American, shares this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two others, another American, George P. Smith and the U.K.'s Sir Gregory P Winter. Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP hide caption

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Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP

An illustration provided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences shows the dramatic gain in resolution that came with the development of cryo-electron microscopy. What had been seen as blobs can now be distinguished as proteins in atomic resolution. Martin Hogbom/Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences hide caption

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Martin Hogbom/Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry are displayed on a screen during a press conference to announce the winners at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Wednesday. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

The model of a DNA stands on a desk during a press conference to announce the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 on Wednesday at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. Sweden's Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich of the US and Turkish-American Aziz Sancar won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for work on how cells repair damaged DNA. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Harry Kroto, pictured in 1996, displays a model of the geodesic-shaped carbon molecules that he helped discover. Michael Scates/AP hide caption

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Michael Scates/AP

'Buckyballs' Solve Century-Old Mystery About Interstellar Space

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The new microscopy technique (lower right) brings into focus details of cell structures never seen before with light. Courtesy of A. Honigmann, C. Eggeling and S.W. Hell, MPI Göttinge hide caption

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Courtesy of A. Honigmann, C. Eggeling and S.W. Hell, MPI Göttinge

Classical mechanics, represented by Isaac Newton, typically doesn't play nicely with quantum mechanics, represented by Schrodinger's cat. But the 2013 Nobel laureates for chemistry figured out a way to get the two to work together. Courtesy of the Nobel Prize hide caption

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Courtesy of the Nobel Prize

Joe Palca on 'Morning Edition'

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