Stockholm — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for studying how electrons zip around atoms in fractions of seconds, a field that could one day lead to better electronics or disease diagnoses. The award went to Pierre Agostini, Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz and French-born Anne L’Huillier for their work with the tiny part of each atom that races around the center and that is fundamental to virtually everything: chemistry, physics, our bodies and our gadgets.
Electrons move around so fast that they have been out of reach of human efforts to isolate them, but by looking at the tiniest fraction of a second possible, scientists now have a “blurry” glimpse of them and that opens up whole new sciences, experts said.
“The electrons are very fast, and the electrons are really the workforce in everywhere,” Nobel Committee member Mats Larsson said. “Once you can control and understand electrons, you have taken a very big step forward.”
L’Huillier is the fifth woman to receive a Nobel in physics.
won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
Nobel announcements will continue with the chemistry prize on Wednesday and the literature prize on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on Oct. 9.