Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland win 2018 Nobel Physics Prize

Trio Win Nobel Physics Prize For Work On Laser Physics Nobel Physics Prize Awarded to Trio for Laser Work
Guillermo Lane | 02 October, 2018, 17:39

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded Tuesday to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their pioneering work to turn lasers into powerful tools.

Arthur Ashkin was recognized for inventing "optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers".

Achievements by Strickland, of the University of Waterloo in Canada, and Morou, of the École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, led to the creation of the world's shortest and most intense laser pulses.

Now she shares the distinction of being one of three women to ever win the Nobel Prize for physics.

Speaking by phone to the academy, a moved Strickland said she was thrilled to receive the Nobel prize that has been the least accessible for women.

They include the first female physics prize victor in 55 years.

"Obviously we need to celebrate women physicists, because we're out there". The winners of the Nobel Prize will be awarded $1 million or £770,000 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Frenchman Gerard Mourou of the Ecole Polytechnique and University of MI shares have the prize's 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) with Strickland; Ashkin gets the other half. Although Ashkin, in the mid 1980s, originally meant to use the technique to manipulate atoms, he soon moved onto larger particles and then biological objects, including viruses and living cells.

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Mourou was affiliated with the Ecole Polytechnique of France and the University of MI in the USA, while Strickland, his student, is a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The technique is today used in corrective eye surgery.

Gérard Mourou, one of three scientists to win the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, is shown during a conference in Paris, France, in 2015.

First of all, you have to think it is insane!

Hansson said committees include a number of women, suggesting that there isn't any "substantial male chauvinist bias in the committees".

"I'm surprised", Ashkin said about winning the prize.

Physics is the second of this year's crop of prizes and comes after the medicine prize was awarded on Monday for discoveries about how to harness and manipulate the immune system to fight cancer.

The winners will be awarded with nine million kronor (£770,000) which has been decided by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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