EU-funded researcher among winners of Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded jointly to Arthur Ashkin and to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their work in helping to revolutionise laser physics. Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland have paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses created by humankind. Their technique has led to broad industrial and medical applications. Its uses include the millions of corrective eye surgeries that are conducted every year using the sharpest of laser beams.
According to the European Commission (EC), Mr. Mourou was leading an EU-funded research infrastructure project, International Coherent Amplification Network (ICAN), which received €500,000 from the 7th EU Research Framework Programme (FP7). The project focused on developing a revolutionary laser system by investigating the use of fibre lasers in ground-breaking particle accelerator technologies. He was also the initiator and coordinator of the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI), which is part of the European ESFRI Roadmap. Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas congratulated the three Prize Winners on their achievement, adding "I am proud to say that EU funding has supported one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates to help perfect laser physics. Their discoveries will help us all to stay at the cutting edge of scientific frontiers"..
Gérard Mourou is currently working at the École Polytechnique (Palaiseau, France) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA). Donna Strickland is a professor at the University of Waterloo, in Canada. Arthur Ashkin is an American physicist currently working at Bell Laboratories.
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