Canadian woman among three to win Nobel prize

Donna Strickland

Canadian Donna Strickland is the first woman in 55 years to win the prestigious prize.

Written by Sammy Abdo

The University of Waterloo professor won the award along with Arthur Ashkin, an American scientist and the oldest to win it, and GĂ©rard Mourou from France. Their work in physics, specifically with lasers, was described as revolutionary by the Sweden Royal Academy of Sciences, which chose the winners.

Strickland is only the third woman in history to win the prize in physics, with Marie Curie 1903 and Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963. The laser work will be essential in broad medical applications, such as improving laser eye surgery. As well, Ashkin developed optical tweezers, capable of getting small particles such as viruses without damaging them.