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First Woman in 55 Years Earns Nobel Prize in Physics
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics, with one half to Arthur Ashkin, Ph.D. “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems,” the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou, Ph.D. and Donna Strickland, Ph.D. “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”
Strickland winning the annual Nobel Prize last year was momentous, as it marks the first time in 55 years that a woman has received the prize and only the third time in 117 years that a woman has received the prize.
Strickland is a Canadian who is an associate professor of physics at the University of Waterloo. Her work on high-intensity laser pulses garnered her the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.
She shared the award with the French physicist Mourou, with whom she was working as a graduate student when they published a groundbreaking scientific paper in 1985, and Ashkin, an American scientist who pioneered a way of using light to manipulate physical objects.
Ashkin received half of the monetary prize, worth about $1 million. Mourou and Strickland split the remainder.
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