10/04/2018

LASER SCIENTISTS : PHYSICS NOBEL PRIZE


LASER SCIENTISTS win Nobel Physics prize for tools made of Light.

A TRIO of American, French and Canadian scientists won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for breakthroughs  in laser technology that have turned light beams into precision tools for everything from eye surgery to micro-machining.

They include the first female physics prize winner in 55 years, Arthur Ashkin of Bell Laboratories in the United States won half of the prize for inventing ''optical tweezers'' while Frenchman Gerard  Mourou, who also has US citizenship, and Canada Strickland shared the other half for the work on  high-intensity lasers.

Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel Prize for Physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.

''Obviously we need to celebrate women physicists because we are out there and hopefully in time it will start to move forward at a faster rate,'' she told news conference by telephone, shortly after learning of the prize.

''The Nobel prizes have long been dominated by male scientists, and more so than physics.

Strickland is the first female Nobel Laureate in any field in three years. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said last year it would seek to more actively encourage nominations of women researchers to begin addressing the imbalance.

The inventions by the three scientists date back to he mid-1980s  and over the years they have revolutionised laser physics.

''Advanced precision instruments are opening up unexplored areas of research and a multitude of industrial and medical applications,'' the academy said on awarding the nine million Swedish crown [$1 million prize]. [Agencies]

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