2018 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Inventions in Laser Physics

2018 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Inventions in Laser Physics
2018 Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded for Inventions in Laser Physics
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The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Arthur Eshkin, Gerard Moore and Donna Strickland for innovative inventions in the field of laser physics.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2018

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to scientists working in the field of laser physics: Arthur Eshkin for the invention of optical tweezers and their use in biological systems, as well as Gerard Moore and Donna Strickland for the invention of a method for generating ultrashort high-intensity optical pulses. More information about the laureates and their merits can be found in the press release of the Nobel Committee.

Arthur Eshkin invented optical tweezers with which you can manipulate particles, atoms, viruses, and other living cells using laser light. This tool allowed Eshkin to realize his long-standing sci-fi dream - to use radiation pressure to move physical objects. The scientist was able to push small particles with laser light to the center of the beam and hold them there. So he invented the optical tweezers.

The real breakthrough came in 1987 when Eshkin used tweezers to trap living bacteria without harming them. He immediately began to study biological systems. Today, optical tweezers are widely used to study the mechanisms of life.

Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland paved the way for the shortest and most intense impulses ever created by humankind. In 1985, a revolutionary article was published that became Strickland's doctoral dissertation.

Using an ingenious approach, they created ultra-short, ultra-high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material. First, the scientists stretched the laser pulses over time to reduce their maximum power, and then amplified and finally compressed them. The shorter the pulse, the more light fits into the small space - and the intensity of the pulse increases dramatically.

The Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) technique invented by Strickland and Moore soon became standard for high-intensity lasers. Among other things, it is used in the millions of vision corrections performed every year. It is not yet known how wide the potential of this technique is.

Donna Strickland is the third woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics.

In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Kip Thorne, Barry Barish and Rainer Weiss "for their decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and gravitational wave observation." The research carried out by scientists led to the development of another channel for observing distant objects, advancing multi-channel astronomy.

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Michael Kosterlitz, David Thouless and Duncan Haldane. Scientists were awarded an award for developing the theory of topological phase transitions. She predicts that two-dimensional systems can undergo phase transitions in the absence of an order parameter in them, which, in turn, makes it possible to describe magnetic ordering, superfluidity and superconductivity in thin material layers.

Recall that the American James Ellison and the Japanese Tasuku Honjo became the winners of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine. The award was given for the discovery of cancer treatment by suppressing negative immune regulation. This technique is called revolutionary.

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