“The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly given to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier for their groundbreaking work in creating incredibly short bursts of light, called attosecond pulses. These super-fast pulses help scientists study how electrons move around in different materials.
Pierre Agostini is a physicist from France.
Ferenc Krausz, who was born on 17 May,1962 in Hungary and physicist from Austri.
Anne L’Huillier, a physicist from France, was born 1958 in Paris.
Pierre Agostini, PhD 1968 from Aix-Marseille University, France. Professor at The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.
Ferenc Krausz, born 1962 in Mór, Hungary. PhD 1991 from Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Director at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching and Professor at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany.
Anne L’Huillier, born 1958 in Paris, France. PhD 1986 from University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France. Professor at Lund University, Sweden.
Prize amount: 11 million Swedish kronor (INR Rs. 8,24,01,924.00), to be shared equally between the laureates.
Have you ever watched a movie and noticed how fast-moving scenes blend together to create smooth motion? Similarly, when we study very quick events, like what happens with tiny electrons, we need special technology. These electrons change in just a tiny fraction of a second – so small that there are more of these fractions in one second than there have been seconds since the universe began!
The Nobel Prize winners did some amazing experiments. They created bursts of light that were incredibly short, measured in tiny fractions of a second, called attoseconds. These super-fast bursts of light helped them take pictures of what’s happening inside atoms and molecules.
Back in 1987, Anne L’Huillier found something fascinating. When she sent special laser light through a noble gas, it made different ‘overtone’ light waves. Each overtone had a specific number of cycles, like waves in the sea. This happened because the laser light talked to the gas atoms, giving some electrons extra energy that turned into light. Anne’s discovery was just the beginning.
In 2001, Pierre Agostini and Ferenc Krausz did more cool experiments. Pierre made a series of quick light bursts, each lasting only 250 attoseconds. At the same time, Ferenc worked on isolating a single light burst lasting 650 attoseconds.
Thanks to these scientists, we can now look at incredibly fast processes we couldn’t see before.
Eva Olsson, who leads the Nobel Committee for Physics, says, “We can now explore the world of electrons. Attosecond physics helps us understand how electrons work, and we can use this knowledge in many ways.”
One way is in electronics, where understanding electron behavior is important. Attosecond pulses can also help identify different molecules, like in medical tests.”