The Canadian Donna Strickland shares the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics award with the American Arthur Ashkin and the French Gérard Mourou for “revolutionary inventions in the field of lasers physics”.
The tools of photonics, which allow you to manipulate light with exquisite precision and opened the way for new industrial and medical applications, have been recognized with the award Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018. The Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the award to the American Arthur Ashkin, the French Gérard Mourou and the Canadian Donna Strickland, who becomes the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics since 1963.
The winners receive the award for “revolutionary inventions in the field of laser physics”. According to the verdict of the Swedish Academy of Sciences announced yesterday.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 winner’s Invention:
Arthur Ashkin, from Bell Laboratories based in Holmdel (New Jersey, USA), was received half of the prize for the invention of “optical tweezers and their application to biological systems”. This advancement allows you to manipulate extremely small objects such as cells and viruses, and even atoms and particles, with tweezers made of laser light.
Donna Strickland, from the University of Waterloo (Canada). And Gérard Mourou, from the Palaiseau Polytechnic School. Together with Paris (France) and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (USA), was received the other half. Working together, they invented a “method to generate high-intensity ultra-short optical pulses “. That research was Strickland’s work on endowment -and his first scientific publication-, which was directed by Mourou.
The inventions of the winners open new areas of research and have many industrial and medical applications, highlights the Swedish Academy.
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics winners include first woman Scientist for 55 years:
Since the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 1901. Only two women had won it so far. And none in the last half century. The last one that had obtained it was Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963 for proposing the layer model of the nucleus of the atoms. Previously Marie Curie had won in 1903 for his research on radioactivity.
It should also have been won by British astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Whose discovery of the pulsars was recognized with the Nobel in 1974. The prize, however, was awarded to Antony Hewish, since Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a Ph.D student at the time. She made the discovery and Hewish was the one who directed the thesis.
The tools invented by the winners of this year have been fundamental for the development of photonics. The area of physics that is based on controlling photons in a way comparable to how electronics are based on controlling electrons. The applications of photonics range from quantum computing to new medical diagnostic technologies. Through the development of new materials or more efficient cells for solar energy panels.
Thanks to the inventions of the winners.”Extremely small objects and incredibly fast processes are now being seen in a new light”. Highlights the Swedish Academy in the press release announcing the award. “Advanced precision instruments are opening unexplored research areas and a multitude of industrial and medical applications.”
One of the most popular applications are surgical interventions to correct myopia in which the technique developed by Strickland and Mourou is used, a technique called Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA).
Who is Arthur Ashkin?
Ashkin, born in New York in 1922, becomes the oldest person to win a Nobel Prize at age 96. He exceeds in six years Leonid Hurwicz, who won the Economics prize in 2007 at the age of 90 years and was the oldest prize winner so far. In Physics, Raymond Davis Jr., the oldest recipient of the award, was 88 years old in 2002 for his research on neutrinos.
Ashkin invented optical tweezers in 1986, when he worked at Bell Labs. His work was the basis of the technique to cool and capture atoms for which Steven Chu won a Nobel in 1997.
Arthur Ashkin turns 96 years old into the oldest person to win a Nobel Prize.
Who is Gérard Mourou?
Gérard Mourou, born in Albertville (France) in 1944. Spent much of his career at the University of Michigan (USA) before returning to France. Where he was director of the Applied Optics Laboratory at the Institute of Technology of Paris.
Who is Donna Strickland?
Donna Strickland, born in 1959 in Guelph, in southwestern Canada. She has spent her entire career in institutions in the United States and Canada. She is currently a professor at the University of Waterloo, in the province of Ontario.
Following the tradition, the Nobel Prize for Physics was announced on Tuesday of the first week of October. On Monday, 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to the pioneers of cancer immunotherapy, the American James Allison and the Japanese Tasuku Honjo. In the coming days more Nobel Prizes will be announced, the Chemistry (on Wednesday); Peace (Friday); and Economy (next Monday). The Literature, exceptionally, will not be granted this year after the sexual scandal that has affected the institution that grants it.
The Swedish Academy of Sciences decides each year to whom the Physics prize is awarded based on proposals received from academic institutions around the world. The Nobel Prize is awarded to a maximum of three researchers. Who will share the nine million Swedish crowns (about 872,000 euros) that is awarded the prize this year.