Oct 03, 2023
By Jane Brown
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three scientists from the United States, Germany and Sweden who look at electrons in atoms during the tiniest of split seconds.
Eva Olsson of the Nobel committee for Physics explained the significance of the winners’ research.
“This year’s prize honours the pioneering experimental work of Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier. They discovered that it is possible to generate these auto-second pulses. They develop methods to measure the duration of the pulses and then also develop techniques for generation, both of pulse trains and on isolated individual pulses to be used for fundamental research but also future applications,” Olsson detailed.
Achieving such a rapid snapshot involves working with intense but brief pulses of light, a technology that first came to fruition just after the turn of the century.
The field could one day lead to better electronics or disease diagnoses.
The Academy says the experiments have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules.