Scientists Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics for ‘experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.’
Conferred by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Nobel prize, which was raised this year to 11 million Swedish crowns (about $1 million).
The award for Physics is the second Nobel to be awarded this week after Hungarian scientist Katalin Kariko and U.S. colleague Drew Weissman won the medicine prize for making mRNA molecule discoveries that paved the way for COVID-19 vaccines.
Created in the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel, the prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace have been awarded since 1901 with a few interruptions, becoming the arguably highest honour for scientists everywhere.
While the sometimes controversial award for peace can hog the limelight with its widely-debated list of recipients, the physics prize has seen more consensus, with legendary scientist such as Albert Einstein on the list of awardees.
Last year, Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger won the prize for work on quantum entanglement, where two particles are linked regardless of the space between them, something that unsettled Einstein himself who once referred to it as ‘spooky action at a distance.’
Announced on consecutive weekdays in early October, the physics prize announcement will be followed by ones for chemistry, literature, peace and economics, the latter a later addition to the original line-up.
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