General Awareness Notes – 2018 Physics Nobel Prize : All you need to know

Nobel Prizes are an important topic of the General Awareness section of all the major Government and Banking Exams like UPSC, SSC-CGL, SEBI, IBPS, RRB, etc. every year. Questions have been asked about the winners and their inventions in all the fields viz Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace and Economics. In this General Awareness Notes blog, we will be providing you with all the information you need to know about the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize. So, let us begin –

2018 Physics Nobel Prize: And the winners are…..

The 2018 Physics Nobel prize has been awarded to 3 physicists. The first Half is awarded to Arthur Ashkin. The second half of the award is being shared by Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland.

2018 Physics Nobel Prize

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2018 Physics Nobel Prize: About the Winners

Arthur Ashkin – He is a Physicist from the United States if America. He has worked at Bell Laboratories. He is 96 years, which makes him the Oldest Nobel Laureate in History.  He started working in the field of manipulation of Microparticles and Laser technology in the 1960’s.

Gérard Mourou – He is a French Scientist working in the field of Optical Sciences. He was the founding Director of the Centre for Ultrafast Optical Science (UOS) at the University of Michigan. He is the pioneer in the study of ultrafast lasers and their applications in scientific, engineering and medical disciplines. (Source:

Donna Strickland – She is a Canadian Physicist. She had completed her PhD in Optics under the guidance of Gérard Mourou in 1989 from the University of Rochester. She is only the third woman in history to win a Physics Nobel prize. Her specialisation is in the field of Lasers and Optics.

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2018 Physics Nobel Prize: Inventions

Arthur Ashkin has been awarded the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize for “The Optical Tweezers and their application to biological systems”. The Press release by the Physics Nobel Prize committee describes Arthur Ashkins work in the following words “Arthur Ashkin invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers. This new tool allowed Ashkin to realise an old dream of science fiction – using the radiation pressure of light to move physical objects. He succeeded in getting laser light to push small particles towards the centre of the beam and to hold them there. Optical tweezers had been invented. A major breakthrough came in 1987 when Ashkin used the tweezers to capture living bacteria without harming them. He immediately began studying biological systems and optical tweezers are now widely used to investigate the machinery of life.”

Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland have been awarded the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize for “their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”. Following is the Press release by the Physics Nobel Prize committee about their work “Using an ingenious approach, they succeeded in creating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material. First, they stretched the laser pulses in time to reduce their peak power, then amplified them, and finally compressed them. If a pulse is compressed in time and becomes shorter, then more light is packed together in the same tiny space – the intensity of the pulse increases dramatically.

Strickland and Mourou’s newly invented technique, called chirped pulse amplification, CPA, soon became standard for subsequent high-intensity lasers. Its uses include the millions of corrective eye surgeries that are conducted every year using the sharpest of laser beams.”

Read the full press release here

That is all from us in this blog on 2018 Physics Nobel Prize. We hope you liked reading the information about the winners and their inventions provided above. We also hope that it is a valuable addition to your General Awareness notes for all the major Government and Banking Exams. All the best

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