Nobel physics prize winners: Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland

Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland win 2018’s Nobel physics prize

Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland, 2018’s Nobel laureates in physics.


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.

“The inventions being honoured this year have revolutionised laser physics,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($1 million) prize.

“Advanced precision instruments are opening up unexplored areas of research and a multitude of industrial and medical applications,” announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Optical tweezers

Ashkin wins half of the prize for his development of “optical tweezers” which have allowed tiny organisms to be handled with light beams.

Mourou and Strickland share a quarter of the prize each “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses,” the Nobel committee said.

Strickland at the University of Waterloo in Ontairo becomes the first woman to win the physics Nobel since Maria Goeppert Mayer was honoured in 1963 for her work on the nuclear shell structure.

On Monday, James Allison at Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo at the University of Kyoto won the 2018 medicine Nobel for their work on harnessing the immune system to combat cancer.

Last year, gravitational wave scientists Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne won the Nobel Physics Prize Physics.

Winners of Nobel Physics prize in 2017
2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

On Monday, the award-giving body named James Allison and Tasuku Honjo winners of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine — for discoveries leading to breakthroughs in cancer therapy.

Allison and Honjo showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer, the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said in a statement on awarding the prize of 9 million Swedish crowns ($1 million).

 

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