Two IEEE Life Fellows Honored With 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics

Recipients recognized for developing techniques that manipulate small living things with lasers and for the development of high power lasers

Piscataway, N.J. - 3 October 2018 – IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, is proud to announce that two IEEE Life Fellows, Dr. Arthur Ashkin and Dr. Gérard Mourou, and Dr. Donna Strickland, were awarded the prestigious 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. All honorees have been dedicated contributors to the photonics community and received the inclusive citation “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.”

One half of the prize was presented to Dr. Ashkin of Bell Laboratories and the other half jointly to Dr. Mourou of École Polytechnique and University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, and Dr. Strickland, of the University of Waterloo.  

“The IEEE Photonics Society is delighted to hear the great news of our distinguished colleagues in laser physics being honored with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics,” stated Dr. Chennupati Jagadish, IEEE Photonics Society President. “Dr. Ashkin has been individually recognized for ‘optical tweezers and their application to biological systems.’ His work has transformed the field of optical manipulation of matter and has made a vast impact on physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.”

Dr. René-Jean Essiambre, IEEE Photonics Society Vice-President of Membership, stated, “Arthur Ashkin made many crucial contributions to optical science in his career. His invention of optical tweezers enable researchers to immobilize small living things so they can be studied in their natural state.”  

Dr. Mourou and Dr. Strickland have been jointly honored for their “method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.” Their work has made a significant impact towards manufacturing, medical and research fields.
Dr. Mourou is a past recipient of the IEEE Photonics Quantum Electronics Award and IEEE David Sarnoff Award. Dr. Strickland is an author of the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics and the IEEE Journal of Quantum of Electronics. She is also the first woman recognized in 55 years for the Nobel Prize in Physics.

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