Nobel Physics Prize Awarded to Trio for Laser Work

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Becquerel received the other half of the prize that year. "But I'm trying to enjoy it". Arthur Ashkin, the American who developed "optical tweezers", became the oldest Nobel Prize laureate at age 96.

"It's kind of mind boggling, isn't it?"

But the economics prize was not part of the awards established by industrialist Alfred Nobel's will; it was later established by Sweden's central bank in Nobel's honor.

Strickland is the first woman since 1963 to be awarded the prize.

Flawless timing: Strickland's win comes just days after CERN physicist Alessandro Strumia made controversial and widely-reported comments at a conference claiming that men are better at physics.

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". "It's a silly comment". Men aren't better than women. Yes okay, that's the way it was.

The Swedish academy said their discoveries made possible "tools made of light" that improve scientific research, industry and medicine. Did you ever imagine that work would lead to a Nobel prize? How ridiculous is that?

But, she added: "I think there is a large list of barriers that women have to overcome including unconscious bias, different expectations and demands on their time". "It will keep improving, hopefully". As a result of this work, he won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1997.

Mats Larsson a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics explaining the field of research of the 2018 winners
Mats Larsson a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics explaining the field of research of the 2018 winners

"Just having that opportunity to be exposed to women doing really interesting things in those field, is an incredible first start to getting more women pursuing careers in STEM", said Baumgartner.

Mourou was affiliated with the Ecole Polytechnique of France and the University of MI in the United States, while Strickland, his student, is a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

In a statement after receiving the prize, Strickland said "We need to celebrate women physicists because they're out there..."

"Sometimes people are looking in their own echo chamber, but the excuse of 'oh, we couldn't find any women (to reward)' doesn't wash anymore".

Dr Strickland has spent much of her life studying and teaching physics, and describes her research as "fun". She said she has never worked harder or had more fun than she did on their project.

"I've always gotten paid equal to my colleagues and I feel I've been treated equally", she said. She is a Canadian scientist at the University of Waterloo and winning the prize almost after 55 years ended the dry spell for women winning the prestigious laurel.

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.

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