The Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Leopoldina Member Ferenc Krausz
Physicist is receiving the award together with Pierre Agostini and Anne L ’ Huillier
Image : Peter Seidel
The Hungarian-Austrian Physicist Ferenc Krausz , Member of Leopoldina since 2016 , has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics . Krausz is receiving the award together with Pierre Agostini and Anne L ’ Huillier for their research on the behaviour of electrons in ultra-short light flashes .
Ferenc Krausz is considered to be the founder of attosecond physics , which observes and researches ultrafast movements of electrons in real time . New fields of work have emerged on the basis of his research , such as high-resolution microscopy of living organisms . He has also developed lasers which can be used in the diagnosis of eye diseases and cancer .
For the first time , Ferenc Krausz and his team have managed to generate and
“ Based on these findings serious diseases can be studied in a completely new way .”
Gerald Haug ML President of the Leopoldina
measure an attosecond light pulse . An attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second ( 0.000,000,000,000,000,001 seconds ). He has developed laser systems and components that make such observations possible . Electrons move at the speed of about a thousand kilometres per second . In these laser systems the attosecond flash acts like an extremely short photo flash and freezes movement at a certain point in time . Researchers working with Ferenc Krausz were thus able to measure that an electron needs between seven and 20 attoseconds to cross the atomic shell . The exact speed depends on how the electrons interact with one another and with the atomic nucleus .
Leopoldina President , Gerald Haug , congratulates Ferenc Krausz , who has been Director at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching since 2004 : “ This award recognises groundbreaking findings in the field of attosecond measurement technology , which can be used to study serious diseases in a completely new way .” ■ JK