Nobel Prize in Physics jointly awarded to trio of laser physics inventors

A portrait of Alfred Nobel the Swedish industrialist and inventor can be seen on a banner at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm Sweden

A portrait of Alfred Nobel the Swedish industrialist and inventor can be seen on a banner at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm Sweden

Strickland of the University of Waterloo in Ontario has won part of the million-dollar prize, which she shares with Gerard Mourou of France and Arthur Ashkin of the United States.

Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics this morning for their groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.

Arthur Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, is honored for his invention of optical tweezers, a technique which uses focused laser beams to hold and manipulate microscopic objects, including biological samples, as might be done with tweezers. In 1987, he used the tweezers to grasp living bacteria without harming them, according to the academy statement. The winners of the Nobel Prize will be awarded $1 million or £770,000 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. However, in this celebratory narrative, let us not get carried away by Strickland's achievement - that of a woman winning the physics Nobel Prize - because it is not an achievement.

Speaking by phone to the academy, a moved Strickland said she was thrilled to receive the Nobel prize that has been the least accessible for women. The team created ultrashort, high-intensity laser pulses, essentially packing more light than standard lasers in the same tiny space.

She became emotional when told she was only the third woman to have won the physics prize - the first being Marie Curie in 1903, while Maria Goeppert Mayer won in 1963.

Reacting to her win, Dr Strickland, who is based at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said: "First of all you have to think it's insane, so that was my first thought". "I am very, very happy to share this distinction with my former student Donna Strickland and also to share it with Art Ashkin, for whom I have a lot of respect". The duo conceived of a brilliant approach to creating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material.

Passenger plane crash landed into the ocean
Minutes after the plane crashed into the Pacific lagoon, local people and mini boats quickly showed up to rescue the passengers. Bill Jaynes, managing editor of a Micronesia-based newspaper, was on the plane when it hit the water.

Dr Strickland and Dr Mourou's work has enabled new studies of matter by allowing scientists to produce more powerful bursts of laser light, said Michael Moloney, the head of the American Institute of Physics.

Using the CPA technique, the peak power of laser pulses grew much more rapidly and it is now a regular feature at laser labs around the world.

Strickland had became attracted to laser physics for not only scientific but also aesthetic reasons: She noticed the green and red beams that shone throughout Mourou's lab like a Christmas tree.

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

The Nobel prizes have always been dominated by male scientists, and none more so than physics.

Latest News