Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier win Nobel Prize in Physics

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OCTOBER 3, 2023

NEW DELHI: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday awarded the 2023 Physics Nobel Prize to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.”

According to the academy, the trio are being recognised for their experiments, which have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules.

“Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy. The laureates’ contributions have enabled the investigation of processes that are so rapid they were previously impossible to follow,” it said.

The laureates have created flashes of light that are short enough to take snapshots of electrons’ extremely rapid movements.

L’Huillier discovered a new effect from laser light’s interaction with atoms in a gas. Agostini and Krausz demonstrated that this effect can be used to create shorter pulses of light than were previously possible.

The physics prize comes a day after Hungarian-American Katalin Karikó and American Drew Weissman won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the creation of mRNA vaccines against Covid-19.

Last year, three scientists jointly won the physics prize for proving that tiny particles could retain a connection with each other even when separated. The phenomenon was once doubted but is now being explored for potential real-world applications such as encrypting information

Nobel announcements will continue with the chemistry prize on Wednesday and the literature prize on Thursday.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on October 9.

The prizes carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor ($1 million) drawn from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896.

The prize money was raised by 1 million kronor this year because of the plunging value of the Swedish currency.

The laureates are invited to receive their awards at ceremonies on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death. The prestigious peace prize is handed out in Oslo, according to his wishes, while the other award ceremony is held in Stockholm.


Courtesy: TOI / PTI