3 scientists win Nobel Prize in physics for laser inventions

Jean-Claude Arnault sentenced to two years in prison

A 96-year-old scientist has become the oldest person to win a Nobel price - alongside the first female victor for 55 years.

Donna Strickland is only the third woman to win the Physics Prize.

Of the 112 physics prizes the Nobel committee has awarded since 1901, the only women winners before Strickland were Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963.

Half the $1 million prize goes to Arthur Ashkin of the United States and the other half will be shared by Gerard Mourou of France and Canada's Donna Strickland.

The inventions being honored this year have revolutionised laser physics. They share the award with an American, Arthur Ashkin, who at 96 becomes the oldest Nobel Laureate, for developing "optical tweezers".

Baumgartner described Strickland's work studying powerful laser pulses as "pretty cool science" that continues to impact modern technologies like laser eye surgery. Mourou was a physics professor heading research into ultra-fast lasers, and in 1985, Mourou was lead author of a scientific paper detailing chirped pulse amplification (CPA) - a technique producing ultra-short and intense laser pulses. Such lasers are now used in corrective eye operations. "And I did not know that she was that she", Strickland said.

"I've always gotten paid equal to my colleagues and I feel I've been treated equally", she said.

Just days earlier, CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, suspended one of its scientists after he gave a speech which claimed "physics was invented and built by men, it's not by invitation" at a scientific conference.

More news: Waterloo professor wins Nobel Prize in Physics

Strickland said the achievements of women scientists deserved recognition.

French physician and Nobel Laureate Gerard Mourou participates in a press conference after receiving the Nobel Prize 2018 for Physics, at the Ecole Polytechnique institution in Palaiseau, near Paris, 02 October 2018. The only other female victor is famed historical physicist Marie Curie.

Strickland, of the University of Waterloo in Canada, became only the third woman to win the physics Nobel, and the first in 55 years.

The judge, Gudrun Antemar, said there was "sufficient evidence, consisting mainly of statements during the trial by the injured party and several witnesses", to convict the defendant of one of the two counts of rape with which he had been charged.

She was pleased with sharing the award with Mourou. "I am very, very happy to share this distinction with my former student Donna Strickland and also to share it with Art Ashkin, for whom I have a lot of respect".

Donna Strickland, a University of Waterloo professor who helped to pioneer the development of lasers that produce brief but intense pulses of light for a range of applications, has been named a victor of this year's Nobel Prize in physics.

In May, the academy announced that no Nobel Literature prize would be awarded this year and two, for 2018 and 2019, would be awarded next year.

Wade pointed to the work of Dawn Shaughnessy, the American radiochemist who discovered five elements in the periodic table, who has yet to be formally honoured with a Nobel.

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