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Nine Scientists Win Fourth Kalvi Prize Ever

May 29, 2014 04:33 PM EDT

Nine scientists were just awarded the Kavli prize - a hopeful rival of the Nobel Prize - which awards for seminal advances in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

The prize has been awarded every two years by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (NASL) since it started in 2008 and includes a cash award of $1 million for each field. This year three teams of seasoned scientists will be sharing their prize, and will be additionally awarded a gold medal and a scroll declaring their accomplishment, according to an official NASL release.

This year's winners were announced on Thursday at the World Science Festival in New York.

And it's a good thing that this is where the announcement was made. According to the New York Times, most of the winners were informed by phone call Thursday morning. However, this wasn't; the case for Dr. Alan H. Guth and Dr. Andrei D. Linde, who have both been awarded for their "inflation theory" - a theory which explains how the Big Bang occurred.

Linde and Guth both has not received their phone calls, and Guth's cell phone had been dead, and Linde never owned one to begin with, the Times reported.

Thankfully, both scientists were at the World Science Festival, and were able to hear of their success while surrounded by their congratulating peers on Thursday morning.

"If this is breakfast," Linde had said, "what is going to be lunch?"

The Prize was founded by and named after the late Norwegian-born inventor Fred Kavli. This year, Guth, Linde, and Alexei A. Starobinsky; Thomas W. Ebbesen, Stefan W. Hell, and John B. Pendry; and Brenda Milner, John O'Keefe, and Marcus E. Raichle won awards for their work on inflation theory, for harnessing ordinary light to view impossibly small objects, and for identifying portions of the brain that specialize in memory, respectively.

You can learn more about the awarded work, the scientists, and the prize itself here.

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