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2018 Nobel Prize Sends Message That ‘Excellence in Physics Isn’t Gendered’
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three scientists from the U.S., France and Canada for their achievements in the field of laser physics. Physicist Donna Strickland of Canada is included in that group, and is the first woman in decades to win the prize.
Dr. Lisa Manning is an associate professor in the Physics Department at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Prof. Manning says the prize winners’ laser physics work has paved the way for her own research, and credits Donna Strickland’s win for sending a message to all students that excellence in physics isn’t gendered.
Dr. Manning says:
“This is a really exciting day for physicists everywhere. Dr. Strickland’s work on chirped pulse amplification in lasers is important, and I am glad to see that the Nobel Prize committee gave her credit, as she performed the research as a graduate student working with a senior male doctoral advisor.
“Recognizing the contributions of scientists at all career stages, not just senior professors, is an important way to combat gender discrimination in the sciences. I am so excited to see a woman win the physics Nobel again after more than 50 years — as it sends a great message to students of all genders that excellence in physics isn’t gendered.
“I’m also really excited about the award to Dr. Ashkin, as optical tweezers helped to pave the way for understanding how mechanical forces shape cells and tissues, which is the focus of my own (theoretical and computational) research.”
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