Monday, 12 November, 2018

Laser physicists win Nobel Prize, including first woman in 55 years

A portrait of Alfred Nobel the Swedish industrialist and inventor can be seen on a banner at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm Sweden A portrait of Alfred Nobel the Swedish industrialist and inventor can be seen on a banner at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm Sweden
Theresa Hayes | 02 October, 2018, 15:28

Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland will get the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018.

The Swedish Academy-which awards the prize-said the trio's work led to "groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics".

Strickland is the first woman to be named a Nobel laureate since 2015.

Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel prize for physics.

Three scientists from the United States, France and Canada have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for advances in laser physics.

Mourou and Strickland's research centered on developing the most intense laser pulses ever created by humans, paving the way for the precision instruments used today in corrective eye surgery and industrial applications.

Strickland says her first thought on hearing she'd won the physics prize was "it's insane".

She shares half the $1.4 million prize with French laser physicist Gerard Mourou. "I'm honoured to be one of those women", Strickland said in a telephone interview with the committee.

The physics prize honors researchers for discoveries in phenomena as enormous as The Big Bang and as tiny as single particles of light.

The Nobel chemistry prize comes Wednesday, followed by the peace prize on Friday.

On Monday, two immunologists, James Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won this year's Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body's natural defences can fight cancer. The economics prize, which is not technically a Nobel, will be announced on October 8.