2018 Nobel Prize in Physics Recognizes Scientists in Optics and Photonics

    Date Posted: 
    Wednesday, October 3, 2018

    Three scientists were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics for their ground-breaking work in the field of optics and photonics. Half the award went to Arthur Ashkin for his research at Bell Laboratories and the other half shared between Gérard Mourou at École Polytechnique and the University of Michigan and Donna Strickland at the University of Waterloo for their research while at the University of Rochester. Ashkin invented optical tweezers, capable of grabbing particles, atoms, viruses, and other living cells with a laser beam. Mourou and Strickland’s work lead the way to the revolutionary means of creating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material.

    Dean Koch says, "I know Art from our days together at Bell Labs, and it’s really great to see him being justly recognized for his conception and demonstration of 'optical tweezers' from which many breakthroughs, and other Nobel prizes, have come forth.  It’s equally fantastic to see the work of Gérard and Donna being recognized for both its innovation and tremendous practical impact in many fields."

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences states, "The inventions being honoured this year have revolutionised laser physics. Extremely small objects and incredibly rapid processes are now being seen in a new light."

    The College of Optical Sciences is happy to celebrate these scientists in optics and photonics for their monumental work and this wonderful recognition of their success. Read the official press release.