The Nobel prizes will be presented to the laureates on Dec. 10
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded Tuesday to three scientists who look at electrons in atoms during the tiniest of split seconds.
Pierre Agostini of The Ohio State University in the U.S.; Ferenc Krausz of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany; and Anne L'Huillier of Lund University in Sweden won the award.
"The laureates' experiments have produced pulses of light so short that they are measured in attoseconds, thus demonstrating that these pulses can be used to provide images of processes inside atoms and molecules," the award-giving body said in a statement.
The science is about understanding the universe rather than practical applications, but the hope is that it will eventually lead to better electronics and disease diagnosis.
L'Huillier is only the fifth woman to win a Nobel in physics.
"This is the most prestigious and I am so happy to get this prize. It's incredible," she told the news conference by telephone. "As you know there are not so many women who got this prize so it's very special."
The Nobel Prize was created by wealthy Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who in his will dictated that his estate should be used to fund "prizes to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind." The first awards were given out in 1901.
Prizes in chemistry and literature are still to come this week, with the Nobel Peace Prize winner to be revealed on Friday. The economics prize is announced on Oct. 9.
Winners of this year's Nobel Prizes will get an extra 1 million crowns compared to last year, partly because the Swedish crown has lost around 30 per cent of its value against the euro the past decade. The prize money of 11 million Swedish crowns is the equivalent of $1.36 million Cdn.
The Nobel prizes are presented to the laureates on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
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