Laser scientists win Nobel physics prize for tools made of light

Donna Strickland is the third ever woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Pic University of Waterloo

Image Donna Strickland is the third ever woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Pic University of Waterloo

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has chose to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 "for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics" with one half to Arthur Ashkin and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland.

"The inventions being honored this year have revolutionized laser physics", the Nobel Committee said in a statement.

Arthur Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in the United States won half of the prize for inventing "optical tweezers" while Frenchman Gerard Mourou, who also has US citizenship, and Canada's Donna Strickland shared the other half for work on high-intensity lasers.

Strickland is the first woman to win the physics prize since 1963, when Maria Goeppert-Mayer was recognized for her work on the structure of nuclei.

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

American Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in the United States won half of the prize while Frenchman Mourou, who also has US citizenship, and Canadian Strickland shared the other half.

Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903
Image Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903

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

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded 111 times to 207 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2017.

One of them, Arthur Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, entered the Nobel record books by becoming the oldest laureate at age 96.

Nobel Prize considered a pride to regard people who have made great advances and discoveries in different fields.

On Monday, American James Allison and Japan's Tasuku Honjo won the Nobel medicine prize for groundbreaking work in fighting cancer with the body's own immune system.

Friday: Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded.

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