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| Nobel prize in physics awarded – live! |
The winners of the prize will share 9m Swedish kronor – follow along here to find out who this year’s laureates will be
The physics prize has been easy to predict a couple of times in recent years. The discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012 teed up Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for the prize the following year. And then, in 2017, scientists on the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Ligo) won for announcing the first detection of gravitational waves the year before.
This year’s winner is harder to call, but there’s no shortage of physicists who may have turned in last night in the quiet hope of having their day, or most probably their sleep, interrupted by an enthusiastic Swede.
Last year’s physics prize was shared among three scientists who turned light into tools. The US researcher Arthur Ashkin, who at 96 became the oldest recipient ever, was awarded half of the prize for inventing “optical tweezers”, which harness the pressure of laser light to manipulate tiny objects, such as bacteria and viruses.
Gérard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada split the remaining half of the prize money for what is called chirped pulse amplification which generates bright, ultrashort laser pulses. The method paved the way for millions of people to receive laser eye surgery. Strickland became only the third woman to win the physics Nobel.Continue reading...