Jewish Physicist Becomes Oldest Nobel Prize Winner

Ismael LynchOct 07, 2018

Ashkin is the oldest person to win a Nobel.

"There are women doing excellent research in all kinds of fields", Roisin Owens, biochemical engineer at University of Cambridge, told AFP. He's now working on ideas related to solar power, prompted by President Trump's decision to remove the US from the Paris climate accord.

Mourou had been Strickland's PhD supervisor and said he was thrilled at the win.

"We invented a technique that made the laser extremely powerful", he said.

It is then passed to through a gain medium, a material that increases the amplitude of the laser waves by a million times or more, and then compressed.

Ashkin said Tuesday that he had thought his research was worthy of one of the world's most prestigious prizes but figured his time had passed.

"The inventions being honored this year have revolutionized laser physics", the Academy said in a statement.

Mourou, 74, now a professor at the École Polytechnique in France, was Strickland's academic advisor at the University of Rochester in NY in the 1980s, where together they created chirped pulse amplification, or CPA. "Certainly things are changing all the time", says Strickland, who cited Goeppert-Mayer's work in her thesis.

In a video played during a press conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Anders Irbäck, a physicist at Sweden's Lund University and member of the Nobel physics committee provided a simple demonstration of the principle behind Ashkin's tweezers, using exhaust from a hair dryer to hold and manipulate a ping pong ball in mid-air without touching it.

She cited institutional issues that have made it more hard for women to advance their careers, mentioning maternity leave, which can take women out of the workplace for months or years at a time, as one example. The economics victor in 2012, Lloyd Shapley, was 89.

Recipients of prizes in the fields of chemistry and peace will be announced later this week.

"You do always wonder if it's real", she said. However, even now these celebrated inventions allow us to rummage around in the microworld in the best spirit of Alfred Nobel - for the greatest benefit to humankind.

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

The victor of the Nobel Peace Prize will be named Friday.

2015 - Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald were awarded the prize the discovery that neutrinos switch between different "flavours".

Canadian scientist Donna Strickland has been awarded the prize alongside two others from the United States and France for their work on lasers.

When Canadian scientist Donna Strickland got the early morning call informing her she just won the Nobel Physics Prize, she could barely hide her amazement.

Arthur Ashkin, from the United States, was awarded half the £770,000 (9 million Swedish kronor) prize, with the other half shared by Gerard Mourou of France and Canadian Donna Strickland.

"Work on laser tweezers and laser manipulation started when I asked a simple question: Was it possible to move small particles by pushing on them with a laser light beam?", said Ashkin in a speech given upon his winning the Israel-based Harvey Prize in 2004. He has been suspended by the Cern particle physics laboratory.

This year's award will be announced Tuesday.

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