The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2023 has been awarded to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier for their groundbreaking research on electrons in atoms at extremely short time intervals. The announcement was made by Hans Ellegren, the secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Agostini, a researcher at The Ohio State University, Krausz from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, and L’Huillier of Lund University in Sweden were recognized for their innovative contributions to the field. Their work has provided humanity with new tools to explore the behavior of electrons within atoms and molecules.
By developing a method to create pulses of light with durations as short as attoseconds (a quintillionth of a second), the laureates have enabled measurements of rapid electron movements and changes in energy. This breakthrough has wide-ranging implications for understanding fundamental quantum processes.
Eva Olsson, the chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, emphasized the significance of their work in relation to Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize-winning research on the photoelectric effect. She referred to “attosecond science” as a means to investigate fundamental questions regarding the timescales of these processes.
In recognition of her role in the research, L’Huillier becomes the fifth woman in history to receive a Nobel Prize in Physics. She expressed her excitement upon learning the news, highlighting the rarity of women being awarded this prestigious honor.
The Nobel Prizes carry a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor or approximately $1 million U.S. dollars. This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, alongside the recent Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for their work on mRNA, exemplifies the remarkable advancements being made in scientific research.
– The Associated Press
– Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences