The 2018 Nobel Physics Prize has been awarded to Arthur Ashkin, and the other half jointly to Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland “for their groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.”
American Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in the United States won half of the prize while Frenchman Mourou, who also has U.S. citizenship, and Canadian Strickland shared the other half.
Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel prize for physics.
“The inventions being honored this year have revolutionized laser physics,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on awarding the nine million Swedish crown (USD 1 million) prize.
“Advanced precision instruments are opening up unexplored areas of research and a multitude of industrial and medical applications,” it said in a statement.
Ashkin invented optical “tweezers” that could grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells while Mourou and Strickland separately created the shortest and most powerful laser pulses ever.
(Featured image: The Straits Times)