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Strickland, whose research helped advance the field of laser science, is the only living female Nobel laureate for physics.
02 October, 2018
- Strickland, a 59-year-old Canadian physicist, helped develop a technique that led to many laser technologies used today.
- Two other women have won the Nobel for physics; one in 1963, the other in 1903.
- Strickland shares the award and $1 million prize with two other scientists, Arthur Ashkin and Gerard Mourou.
<p>The 2018 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three physicists, including one female, for their work in advancing laser science. It marks the third time a woman in physics has won the award. </p></div><p> Donna Strickland, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada and self-described '<a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45722890" target="_blank">laser jock</a>', shares the award and a $1 million prize with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Ashkin" target="_blank">Arthur Ashkin</a>, a retired American physicist, and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9rard_Mourou" target="_blank">Gerard Mourou</a>, a professor at the École Polytechnique in France and University of Michigan. </p><p> In the 1980s, Strickland and Mourou developed a technique called chirped pulse amplification, which produces ultra-short and "ultra-sharp" laser pulses through a three-part process that involves stretching, amplifying and compressing a laser beam. The pair outlined their landmark research, which led to the development of many medical tools including those used to perform laser eye surgery, in a <a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6318/7a2d68b6d94887cec2ddcbe4fc0b88bda77b.pdf" target="_blank">1985 paper.</a> It was Strickland's first time being published. </p><blockquote>Ultra-sharp laser beams make it possible to cut or drill holes in various materials extremely precisely – even in living matter. Millions of eye operations are performed every year with the sharpest of laser beams.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NobelPrize?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NobelPrize</a> <a href="https://t.co/MiYb4i8AHw">pic.twitter.com/MiYb4i8AHw</a><br>— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) <a href="https://twitter.com/NobelPrize/status/1047063684764307456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 2, 2018</a></blockquote><script async="" charset="utf-8" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"><p>Ashkin was awarded the Nobel Prize for developing laser tweezers (or optical tweezers), now a widely used technology that allows scientists to manipulate atom-sized objects by focusing laser beams on them.<br/></p><p> "Dr Ashkin's work on optical tweezers could be something out of a sci-fi book," Clara Nellist, particle physicist at the ATLAS experiment at CERN, told <a href="https://gizmodo.com/donna-strickland-third-woman-to-ever-win-nobel-prize-i-1829450105" target="_blank"><em>Gizmodo</em></a>. "He took the idea of a tractor beam and shrunk it down to the microscopic scale in order to be able to capture individual viruses and bacteria."</p><listicle id="listicle-2609575564"/></script>
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