This Is Why The 2018 Nobel Prize In Physics, For Lasers, Is So Important
“It has often been noted, such as by the AAUW, that one of the barriers to accepting women in STEM as normal is a lack of representation at the highest levels. In selecting Donna Strickland as a Nobel Laureate, in the same year that Jocelyn Bell-Burnell was awarded the $3M Breakthrough Prize, we’re stepping closer to a world where women can expect to receive equal treatment and equal respect to men in the scientific workplace.
Whether your research will win you the Nobel Prize — or even will be successful — is often largely a matter of luck. But rewarding those who do good work, get lucky in how nature responds, and leads to the development of technological applications that serve humanity is what the Nobel is all about. This year, there can be no doubt the selection committee got it right. Let’s all celebrate Ashkin, Mourou, and Strickland as your 2018 Nobel Laureates in Physics!”
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou, and Donna Strickland, for advances in the field of laser physics. Ashkin wins half the prize for his work developing the optical tweezers technique, while Mourou and Strickland share the other half for the development of chirped pulse amplification, which creates high-power, short-period pulses of lasers. Both of these inventions have proven their worth scientifically and practically, leading to a wide variety of applications. But there’s so much more to the story than that, and the fact that this is just the third physics Nobel ever to include a woman cannot be overlooked.