The Nobel Prize in Physics was announced this Tuesday, 3, in Stockholm, Sweden, by Royal Academy of Sciences. The winners are: Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier. The trio carried out “experimental methods that generate flashes of attosecond light for studying the dynamics of electrons in matter.”
Attoseconds is the unit of time that represents 1 billionth of 1 billionth of a second. According to the Royal Academy of Sciences, they gave humanity new tools to explore the world of electrons within atoms and molecules.
The three physicists demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light, which can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy.
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“Attosecond science — explained Eva Olsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics — allows us to address fundamental questions such as the time scale of the photoelectric effect for which Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.”
For now, the discovery will help science better understand the Universe. The goal is that, in the future, the new tools will lead to better electronics and disease diagnosis.
The award ceremony traditionally takes place on December 10th, the date of death of Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel, creator of the award. The awarded team will receive US$1 million. The money comes from the legacy left by Nobel.
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Last year, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to the American John Clauster and the Austrian Anton Zellinge. They developed pioneering studies of quantum mechanics, helping, among other fields, cryptography.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2023 #NobelPrize in Physics 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.” pic.twitter.com/6sPjl1FFzv
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 3, 2023
Meet the three award-winning scientists
Scientist at Lund University, Sweden. His research was considered the guide for the advances that followed. She discovered that many different shades of light appeared when she transmitted laser infrared through a noble gas.
Scientist at Ohio State University, in the United States. He managed to produce and investigate a series of consecutive light pulses, with each pulse lasting just 250 attoseconds.
Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Ludwig-Maximilins University, Munich, Germany. Simultaneously, he worked on another type of experiment, which allowed him to isolate a single pulse of light lasting 650 attoseconds.
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