Nobel Prize 2023 Winners:
The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2023 has been awarded to three scientists whose work has made it possible to observe electrons, and it holds potential applications in diagnosing diseases and developing electronic gadgets.
Ainee L’huillier, Pierre Augustin, and Ferenc Krausz have been honored for their experiments, providing humanity with new tools to explore the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules. They’ve demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy,” stated the Nobel Prize website.
What Have the Scientists Actually Done?
An atom, a tiny unit in which matter can be divided, consists of protons and neutrons at its core, with electrons orbiting around it at incredible speeds, making it virtually impossible to observe them in real time. Ainee L’huillier, Augustin, and Krausz’s work has made it possible for humanity to observe and study the movement of electrons, creating flashes of light that last only attoseconds, which is one quintillionth of a second.
How Is This Work Important?
“Now we can open the door to the world of electrons. Attosecond physics gives us the opportunity to understand the mechanisms controlled by electrons. The next step will be to make use of them,” said Eva Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.
Studying atomic-level changes in the bloodstream to identify diseases is one potential application.