Three scientists from the United States, France and Canada have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for advances in laser physics.
The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences on Tuesday awarded half the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize to Arthur Ashkin of the United States and the other half will be shared by Gerard Mourou of France and Canada’s Donna Strickland.
The academy says Ashkin developed “optical tweezers” that can grab tiny particles such as viruses without damaging them.
Strickland and Mourou helped develop short and intense laser pulses that have broad industrial and medical applications.
Last year’s physics prize went to three Americans who used abstruse theory and ingenious equipment design to detect the faint ripples in the universe called gravitational waves.
On Monday, American James Allison and Japan’s Tasuku Honjo won the Nobel medicine prize for groundbreaking work in fighting cancer with the body’s own immune system.
The Nobel chemistry prize comes Wednesday, followed by the peace prize on Friday. The economics prize, which is not technically a Nobel, will be announced Oct. 8.