The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three scientists for their pioneering work on ultrashort pulses of laser light known as attosecond pulses.
The winners are:
- Pierre Agostini from Ohio State University in the US
- Ferenc Krausz from the Max Planck Institute in Germany
- Anne L’Huillier from Lund University in Sweden
Attosecond pulses are extremely short bursts of light, lasting just a quintillionth of a second. That’s a billionth of a nanosecond – an absolutely tiny fraction of time!
These incredibly fast flashes of light allow scientists to observe the motion of electrons within atoms and molecules. This opens up our ability to study the microscopic world like never before.
The three laureates developed groundbreaking experiments using these ultrafast laser pulses. Their work has enabled new discoveries in chemistry, biology, and physics.
Anne L’Huillier is only the fifth woman to ever win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Out of over 200 previous winners, just four have been female. Her pioneering research on attosecond pulses has helped open new doors into the quantum world.
In summary, this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics honors three scientists who engineered incredibly short pulses of laser light. This allows us to probe the microscopic world on the smallest timescales imaginable. Their ingenious work has led to new breakthroughs across scientific fields.