Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry, 2018

  • The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2018 was awarded for for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems” and the other half for “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”. Popular science level explanations are available here and here, and a more advanced explanation is available here.
  • The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2018 will be announced Wed. Oct. 3. A popular science level explanation will be available here and a more advanced explanation will be available here.
  • Any prize structure can be usefully viewed through lenses that includes politics, power, privilege, identity, diversity, equity, and access. Nevertheless, the Nobel Prizes in science do reflect important advances in the field.
    • I think that it is important to celebrate that Dr. Donna Strickland is the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. I also think it is important to note that there have been 209 individuals who have won the Physics Nobel. The other two women were Marie Curie (1903, and also the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911) and Maria Goepper-Mayer in 1963.