Canadian Donna Strickland third woman to win Nobel physics prize

A portrait of Alfred Nobel the Swedish industrialist and inventor can be seen on a banner at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm Sweden

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has made a decision to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 "for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics" with one half to Arthur Ashkin and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland.

Dr Ashkin developed a laser technique described as optical tweezers, which is used to study biological systems.

Mourou and Strickland's work resulted in "the shortest and most intense laser pulses created by humankind" - allowing for incredibly precise cutting or drilling through living matter. John Bardeen is the only Nobel Laureate who has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice, in 1956 and 1972. Marie Curie remains the only other woman to have achieved the title back in 1903, and was one among the four winners that year.

Three scientists have been awarded the 2018 Nobel prize in physics for their work on high intensity laser pulses. For the first time since 1949, the Swedish Academy has postponed the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize until next year, amid a #MeToo scandal and bitter internal dispute that has prevented it from functioning properly.


"Really? Is that all?"

"Obviously we need to celebrate women physicists, because we're out there", she said.

Last year's physics prize went to three Americans who used abstruse theory and ingenious equipment design to detect the faint ripples in the universe called gravitational waves. The economics prize will wrap up the Nobel season on Monday, October 8.

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