Physics Nobel honours optics research

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics has been shared between two Americans and one German physicist, all working in the field of optics, said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday.

Roy J. Glauber, 80, of Harvard University wins one half of the 10 million kronor prize “for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence”.

John L. Hall of the University of Colorado, and Theodor W. Hänsch, who works at the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik in Garching, Germany, shared the other half “for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique”.

Glauber’s work allowed him to describe the behaviour of light particles, which has formed the basis of the field of Quantum Optics.

John Hall, who is 71, and Theodor Hänsch, 63, have developed laser-based precision spectroscopy, which enables them to determine of the colour of the light of atoms and molecules with extreme precision.

Four more prizes remain to be announced. On Wednesday the winner, or winners, of the prize for Chemistry will be revealed and on Friday the Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo.

Next Tuesday is the big day for Economists while the date for the announcement of this year’s Literature Prize winner is yet to be announced.

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