Science

Trio win Nobel Physics Prize for laser research

Trio win Nobel Physics Prize for laser research

Donna Strickland of the University of Waterloo won part of the US$1.01 million prize, which she shared with Arthur Ashkin of the United States and Gerard Mourou of France.

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

The academy honored Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in the United States for developing "optical tweezers" that can grab tiny particles, like viruses, without damaging them.

Strickland said her first thought on hearing she'd won was "it's crazy".

A reporter asked the professor what it felt like to be the third woman in history to win the physics prize.

"Obviously we need to celebrate woman physicists because we're out there".




The Nobel prizes have always been dominated by male scientists, and none more so than physics.

With this he was able to use the radiation pressure of light to move physical objects, "an old dream of science fiction", the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. For the first time since 1949, the Swedish Academy has postponed the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize until next year, amid a #MeToo scandal and bitter internal dispute that has prevented it from functioning properly.

Strickland and Mourou helped develop short and intense laser pulses that have broad industrial and medical applications, including laser eye surgery.

Friday: Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded.

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.


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