The First Female Physics Novel Prize Winner in 55 Years

On October 2nd, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced they would award three people the Nobel Prize of Physics. One of these individuals was Canadian Physicist: Donna Strickland. Donna Strickland is an optical physicist and received a Ph.D. in Optics from the University of Rochester. Strickland, along with Arthur Ashkin and Gérard Mourou, was given the award “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.”

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Donna Strickland working at the University of Waterloo in one of the labs she assists in. Image credits

According to the BBC, Strickland is the third woman in history to have received the Nobel Prize in Physics, the first in 55 years. The first two winners were Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963. Curie was from Poland (she studied in France) and researched radioactivity, and Goeppert was from Germany and studied nuclear physics. Like these women, Donna Strickland thrives in a mostly male-dominated field. In an interview with the BBC, Strickland said that she was surprised how long it has been since a woman became a physics laureate. Strickland states that she has “always been treated as an equal.” She notes that “things have changed and hopefully keep changing for the better.” It is quite clear that Dr. Strickland has made history with her achievements.

Lauren Plastina’ 22; Staff Writer

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