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First Female Wins The Nobel Prize For Physics In 55 Years, Two Other Scientists Share The Award

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:


  • The Nobel Prize for Physics 2018has been awarded to three people - Ashkin (USA), Mourou (France) and Strickland (Canada)
  • Strickland became the first woman to win the award after 55 years, and is the third female to ever win in this category

The Nobel Prize for Physics 2018 has been awarded to three scientists, Arthur Ashkin (USA), Gerard Mourou (France) and Donna Strickland (Canada) for their "groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics". 

Arthur Ashkin has developed a laser technique of optical tweezers. They are used to study biological systems. He started working on manipulations of microparticles using laser lights in the 1960s, which resulted in the invention of Optical Tweezers in 1986. Pioneering the method of optical trapping, he could successfully manipulate atoms, molecules and biological cells. He became the oldest person to be awarded the Nobel Prize at an age of 96.

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Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland developed a method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses. He has co-invented a technique known as the chirped pulse amplification (CPA) along with Strickland and was a mentor to her during her PhD. The process is useful in the fields of surgery, medicine and the fundamental science studies.

Mourou is an innovator in the field of electrical engineering and lasers and has also discovered the balance between self-focusing refraction and self-attenuating diffraction of laser beams.

Strickland is a professor pioneering in the field of lasers. She is the only woman to win the award after a long 55 years. Consequently, she is the third woman to win the coveted honour after Marie Curie (1903 for Physics & 1911 for Chemistry) and Maria Goeppoert-Mayer (1963 for Physics)

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