4 5 1 4 1 2 1 . The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland of Canada. The Nobel committee recognized the scientists for their work in transforming laser light into miniature tools. Mourou developed a method of generating high-intensity, ultrashort laser pulses, known as chirped pulse amplification. The work has had a wide range of real-world applications, enabling manufacturers to drill tiny, precise holes and allowing for the invention of Lasik eye surgery. Some physicists think that chirped pulse amplification eventually will be employed to accelerate subatomic particles, replacing giant contraptions such as the Large Hadron Collider with tabletop experiments. Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N. In a telephone news conference, Dr.
Strickland expressed hope that chirped pulse amplification might one day be used to cure cancer. Ashkin’s optical tweezers have been especially important in biological research on viruses and other microbes. Ashkin was born in 1922 in New York City. He earned an undergraduate degree in physics from Columbia in 1947. Cornell in 1952 and joined Bell Labs, the longtime hotbed of innovation and Nobel Prizes, in Murray Hill, N. Ashkin began experimenting with lasers — beams of coherent monochromatic light waves marching in unison like toy soldiers — in the 1960s, shortly after they were invented. The same light pressure that sweeps from a comet’s tail, he figured, could be used in the lab to push a microscopic ball around. To his amazement, the play of forces within the laser beam actually drew the ball into the center of the beam and trapped it there — a first step toward optical tweezers. Grier, a physicist at New York University and a former colleague of Dr. That was a new thought for science, that light can pull.
In 1997 Steven Chu, who had worked with Dr. Ashkin at Bell Labs and is now at Stanford University, won the physics prize for using optical tweezers to investigate the quantum mechanical properties of atoms. Ashkin later said he was disappointed that he hadn’t been included in the award. Ashkin went on to investigate the inner workings of cells and the molecular motors that power tiny organisms. After Tuesday’s announcement, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that Dr. Ashkin, who turned 96 last month, would not be available for comment because he was busy with his next scientific paper. Mourou was born in Albertville, France, in 1944 and earned a Ph. Currently he is a professor at the École Polytechnique in France and director of the International Center for Zetta-Exawatt Science and Technology, which is devoted to the study of high-intensity, ultrafast laser pulses. Mourou spent thirty years in the United States at the University of Michigan, where he remains an emeritus professor, and at the University of Rochester. It was at the latter school that he took on Dr.
The research that won them the Nobel was her first-ever scientific paper, published in December 1985. Experimenters were at a loss for how to amplify high-energy laser pulses without wrecking their amplifiers. Strickland suggested stretching out the pulses in time, amplifying them and then compressing them again. The process generates intense laser pulses that last only a femtosecond — one millionth of a billionth of a second, the amount of time it takes a light wave to traverse the width of a human hair. Strickland, who was born in Guelph, Canada, in 1959, is only the third woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics. She is now is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The Nobel prizes have come under criticism in recent years for the lack of female laureates. Strickland sounded surprised when she was asked how it felt to be only the third female Nobel-winner for physics.
I don’t know what to say. The Royal Academy announced last week that it was changing its nominating guidelines to try to ensure greater diversity of winners in the future, but said these measures had not affected Tuesday’s award. Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard, said in an email of Dr. My guess is they were listening. Who won the 2017 Physics Nobel? Who else has won a Nobel this year? Allison and Tasuku Honjo were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, for a discovery that the body’s immune system can be used to attack cancer cells. When will the other Nobels be announced?
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