Physics Nobel goes to 3 laser scientists for tools made of light

Jean-Claude Arnault arrives at the district court in Stockholm

Jean-Claude Arnault arrives at the district court in Stockholm Credit JONATHAN NACKSTRAND AFP Getty Images

France's President Emmanuel Macron has paid tribute to the French co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics, saying the award highlights French research and its applications. Arthur Ashkin, an American physicist who was awarded the first half of the prize for inventing optical tweezers, told the newspaper, "It's all about the light".

Arthur Ashkin of the United States won one half of the nine million Swedish kronor (about $1.01 million or 870,000 euro) prize, while Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada shared the other half.

"The inventions being honored this year have revolutionized laser physics".

The tweezers are "extremely important for measuring small forces on individual molecules, small objects, and this has been very interesting in biology, to understand how things like muscle tissue work, what are the molecule motors behind the muscle tissue", said David Haviland of the academy's Nobel committee.

A breakthrough came in 1987 when he used the new optical tweezers to grab living bacteria without harming them. "Her groundbreaking work is a testament to the importance of fundamental research as it has established the foundation for laser-based technologies that we see today from micromachining to laser eye surgery".

Strickland is the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize in physics since 1963, when Maria Goeppert-Mayer was recognized for her work on nuclear shell structure.

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

Strickland says she has not yet spoken to Gérard Mourou, her doctoral adviser and the physicist with whom she shares the Nobel Prize.

The victor or winners of the Nobel chemistry prize will be announced tomorrow, followed by the peace prize on Thursday.

She said that her first reaction on receiving the 5:30 a.m. call from the Nobel committee in Stockholm was disbelief. - "a lot of wrong turns" - before landing on the one that has now earned her the Nobel Prize.

Asked what her first reaction to the news was, Strickland told the press conference announcing the prize, "First of all, you have to think it's insane, so that was my first thought".

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

Canadian physicist Donna Strickland is the first woman in 55 years to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The development led to a variety of applications including the ability to use lasers as scalpels to aid in eye surgery and to carve the interior of glass without breaking the surface. This means that a total of 206 individuals have received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

This year's prize is 9 million Swedish krona (about 1 million USA dollars).

2017 - Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish earned the award for the detection of gravitational waves.

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