The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three researchers this year for their research on lasers

  • the American Arthur Ashkin for his work on "optical tweezers" used to manipulate live microcells; 
  • the duo formed by French Gérard Mourou and Canadian Donna Strickland for their work on high-intensity ultra-short laser pulses generation

Mourou is the 14th French to win the Nobel Prize in Physics, 6 years after Serge Haroche, who won the Prize for his work allowing the measurement and manipulation of individual quantic systems. Mourou is professor emeritus at the Ecole Polytechnique. From 2005 to 2009, he supervised the laboratory of applied optics, after a 30-years career and research in the US, at the University of Michigan.

Mourou is the initiator of the Extreme Light Infrastructure project designed to implement intense laser structures in Romania, Hungary and Czech Republic. He even appeared in a humorous short film to present this project.