Three scientists will share this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for producing lightning pulses of light that enabled the study of electrons, the prize committee of the Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Wednesday.
The prize, worth about $1 million in cash, is shared by the French-American Pierre Agustin from Ohio State University, the Hungarian Ferenc Krauss from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany, and the Frenchwoman Anne-Lee Ole from Lund. University in Sweden.
The committee said the three received the award “for their experimental methods that generate attosecond light pulses to study electron dynamics in matter.”
One attosecond equals 10-18 Seconds, an unimaginably short period of time.
The work of this year’s three laureates has allowed the study of microscopic phenomena that develop so rapidly that they would have been impossible to record until then.
“We can now open the door to the world of electrons,” said Eva Olsson, chair of the Nobel Physics Committee. “Attosecond physics gives us the opportunity to understand the mechanisms that govern electrons. The next step will be to take advantage of them.”
Candidate applications are for example the study and monitoring of electron flow in semiconductors and the detection of certain molecules in medical tests.
the Anne Lhuillier (1958, Paris) laid the foundation in 1987 when he discovered that bombarding the noble gas with an infrared laser results in the emission of light at new frequencies. This radiation is due to the additional energy that laser light provides to the gas atoms.
American French Pierre Agostini In 2001, he was able to produce the first light pulses with a duration of 250 attoseconds.
At about the same time, Mr Frank Krause (1962, Mór, Hungary) used a different experimental setup to isolate a 650 attosecond laser pulse.
The announcement of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics comes after the award of the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Monday, which honors the pioneers of mRNA vaccines.
This is followed by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday, the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, the Peace Prize on Friday, and the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday.
The Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be awarded in a separate ceremony in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, while the other prizes will be awarded on the same day in Stockholm.
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