Laser Chirped Pulse Amplification Inventors Win Physics Nobel Prize

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics has been award for tools made of light and ground breaking inventions in laser physics to Dr Arthur Ashkin for optical tweezer and application to biological systems and to Dr Donna Strickland and Dr Gerard Mourou, for chirped pulsed laser amplification.  Dr Stickland is only the third women to have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for work she undertook during her Phd illustrating both the inclusivity of photonics and impact of work undertaken by early stage researchers.

Chirped pulse amplification is now widely used for generating the highest intensity light pulses known to man used in research and many industrial manufacturing processes and in corrective eye surgery. Laser tweezers are indispensable in the study on biological systems, by being able to trap microscope particles, viruses, bacteria and living cells in free-space.

In commenting on the award Prof Olga Botner, Chairman of Nobel committee highlight how “Laser and laser based devices have become indispensable in many areas of society.. the laser is truly one of the many examples of how a so call blue sky discovery in fundamental science may transform our daily lives.”

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