Donna Strickland, Nobel Prize in Physics, new member of the Academy of Sciences – Vatican News

The pope named the 62-year-old Canadian scientist, who teaches optical physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. In 1985 he received this prestigious award for having invented, together with Professor Mourou, chirp pulse amplification for lasers. She is the third woman to receive the Physics award.

Salvatore Cernuzio – Vatican City

Canadian physicist Donna Theo Strickland, a 2018 Nobel laureate in Physics, has been appointed today by the Pope as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The appointment was announced this morning in the bulletin of the Vatican Press Office.

A long academic career

Professor of Optical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo (Canada), Professor Strickland, 62, born on May 27, 1959 in Guelph, graduated in Engineering from McMaster University in Hamilton (Canada ), and received a doctorate in Physics, with a specialization in Optics, at the University of Rochester, in the United States.

Third woman awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics

In October 2018, she and Professor Gérard Mourou were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing, in 1985, chirp laser pulse amplification, ultra-short and high-intensity optical pulses with lasers that are used in millions of corrective eye surgeries. that are carried out every year around the world, especially those of myopia. She and Mourou are credited with discovering the method “to generate the shortest and most intense laser pulses created by mankind,” according to the Nobel’s motivation. It enabled the design of “advanced precision instruments that open the door to new fields of research and a multitude of medical and industrial applications.”

Strickland is the third woman in the history of the Nobel Prize to receive the prestigious award from the Swedish Academy of Physics, after Marie Curie (1903) for her research on radioactivity and the American scientist of German origin Maria Goeppert Mayer (1963), who received the award for his discoveries about the nucleus of atoms.

Work in Canada and the United States

Donna Theo Strickland is currently Professor of Optical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo (Canada), where she continues to do research in ultrafast, short and high intensity laser techniques. He is also a member of The Optical Society, where he was vice president from 2011 to 2013 and then president since 2013. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Strickland always knew that she was “very good at math and physics” and that she liked to play with lasers, so she went ahead and “paid no attention to anything else.” Described as a positive and energetic woman, she has said in the past that when she was young she was torn between dedicating herself to engineering or physics, which was perhaps “more fun.” A master’s degree in laser and electro-optics convinced her to pursue physics in 1976: “It’s so beautiful, this is what I want to study,” she told herself. Less than ten years later, his revolutionary inventions.

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Donna Strickland, Nobel Prize in Physics, new member of the Academy of Sciences – Vatican News

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