The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three physicists jointly, Arthur Ashkin of the United States, Gérard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada.
This year’s winners include a female laureate Donna Strickland for 55 years and the third one in the history of the prize.
The scientists’ work for using light to make miniature tools was recognized by the Nobel Committee for awarding the prestigious prize. Dr. Ashkin invented ‘optical tweezers’ which is used to study biological systems. The tweezers use pressure from a highly focused laser beam to allow researchers to hold microscopic objects steady.
Dr. Strickland and Dr. Mourou developed chirped pulse amplification, a method of generating high-intensity, ultrashort laser pulses.
Dr. Mourou’s and Dr. Strickland’s work on the high-intensity laser is used widely. This allows scientists to control the movements of fine/tiny things.
The female laurate Donna Strickland is from Canada. She is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppoert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963.
BREAKING NEWS⁰The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the #NobelPrize in Physics 2018 “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland. pic.twitter.com/PK08SnUslK
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 2, 2018
Drs Mourou and Strickland developed a method to generate high intensity and very short laser pulses, which are used widely including in laser eye surgery.
The award is worth a total of nine million Swedish kronor or $998,618.
Dr Strickland reacted to her win saying: “First of all you have to think it’s crazy, so that was my first thought. And you do always wonder if it’s real.”
“As far as sharing it with Gerard, of course, he was my supervisor and mentor and he has taken CPA (Chirped Pulse Amplification) to great heights so he definitely deserves this award. And I’m so happy Art Ashkin also won,” remarked the female laureate who is based at the University of Waterloo in Canada.