The Nobel Prize in Physics has just been awarded to three scientists, Arthur Ashkin from America, and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou from France and Canadian Donna Strickland for their “groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.” And, for the first time since Marie Curie who won 55 years ago for her discoveries on the radiation phenomena, and for only the third time in its history, Donna Strickland is one of the winners. The trio will share the £998,662.97 [$998,662.97] prize. Arthur Ashkin, at the age of 96, became the oldest Nobel Laureate.
The committee recognized the laureates for their work on generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses. Arthur Ashkin invented the “optical tweezers,” highly focused light beams that enables an individual to manipulate living organisms and microscopic objects. Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland developed a method of generating high-intensity ultra-short optical pulses.
“I believed there could have been more but I couldn’t think. Obviously, we must celebrate women physicists because we’re out there. Hopefully, it will begin moving forward at a faster rate. I’m honored to be one of those women,” Strickland said at a press conference after being awarded with the fact that she was only the third woman ever to win.
People on the social networking sites were very excited by the fact that a female was on the list of winners this year. Several individuals under the age of 55 remarked that this is the very first time in their lifetime a woman had won the prize.
A year ago, US astrophysicists Barry Barish, Kip Thorne, and Rainer Weiss won the physics prize for the researches on gravitational waves, predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity.
On Monday, two immunologists, James Allison of the U.S. and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won this year’s Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body’s natural defenses can fight cancer.
The winners of the chemistry prize is going to be declared on Wednesday, accompanied by the peace prize on Friday.