'People are ready' to recognize female scientists, Canadian Nobel laureate says

Nobel Physics Prize Awarded to Trio for Laser Work

Three scientists have been awarded the 2018 Nobel prize in physics for their work on high intensity laser pulses.

Scientists Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics for breakthroughs in the field of lasers, the award-giving body said on Tuesday.

Half will go to Arthur Ashkin, of Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, for "optical tweezers and their application to biological systems".

Canada's Donna Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel for physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963. With the Nobel, Donna Strickland became the third female recipient of the prize in physics.

Strickland said she was honored by the nomination but also emphasized the need for more female participation and acknowledgment in the field. The 96-year-old physicist may not be available to give interviews today, he told the Nobel committee, because he is "very busy working on his latest paper".




2012 - Serge Haroche and David J Wineland were awarded the prize for their work with light and matter.

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

Immediately after the invention of lasers in the 1960s, Ashkin started trying to manipulate objects with light.

Strickland and Mourou helped develop short and intense laser pulses that have broad industrial and medical applications, including laser eye surgery and highly precise machine cutting. The technique uses the gentle pressure of light itself to trap and push a microscopic, transparent sphere into the center of a laser beam. They first stretched out the laser pulse in time by several orders of magnitude, thereby reducing their peak power, then passed the stretched pulse through an amplifier, and finally compressed the pulse again in time to produce a short pulse with much enhanced power.

It was at the University of Rochester that the pair co-invented Chirped Pulse Amplification, a "method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses" for which they were awarded this year's prize. But they did not affect this year's prize: "It's important to remember that the Nobel Prize is awarded for discoveries and inventions, and those who receive it have made major contributions to humankind, and that's why they get the prize". In 1987, he used the tweezers to grasp living bacteria without harming them, according to the academy statement.

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