The 2018 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three physicists, Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou, and Donna Strickland, for their innovative work to develop techniques that make lasers more widely applicable in everything from medicine to manufacturing.

Half of the prize is being shared by Mourou and Strickland for their invention of what is known as "chirped pulse amplification" (or CPA for short), a technique they developed together in the 1980s. Strickland was a graduate student at the University of Rochester at the time of this incredibly important work: CPA was the basis of her dissertation and their discovery was presented in her first ever scientific publication. Strickland became an inspiration in 2018 as only the third woman to ever be awarded the physics prize in the Nobel’s 117-year history after Marie Curie in 1911 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.

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