Nobel Prize in Physics

Nobel Prize in Physics

News: Recently, The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2023 was awarded to Anne L’Huillier, Pierre Agostini, and Ferenc Krausz for their pioneering work in attosecond physics.

What is attosecond physics?
• Attosecond physics, also known as attophysics or more generally attosecond science, is a branch of physics that deals with light-matter interaction phenomena wherein attosecond (10^−18 s) photon pulses are used to unravel dynamical processes in matter with unprecedented time resolution.

Significance of their work:
• Their experiments have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules. They have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy.
• Their contributions have enabled the investigation of processes that are so rapid they were previously impossible to follow.
• This work has potential applications in many different areas. In electronics, for example, it is important to understand and control how electrons behave in a material. Attosecond pulses can also be used to identify different molecules, such as in medical diagnostics.

Here are some key points about their work:
• Anne L’Huillier discovered that many different overtones of light arose when she transmitted infrared laser light through a noble gas. Each overtone is a light wave with a given number of cycles for each cycle in the laser light.
• In 2001, Pierre Agostini succeeded in producing and investigating a series of consecutive light pulses, in which each pulse lasted just 250 attoseconds.
• At the same time, Ferenc Krausz was working with another type of experiment, one that made it possible to isolate a single light pulse that lasted 650 attoseconds. 

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