University of Waterloo professor part of team awarded 2018 Nobel Prize in physics

An associate professor from the University of Waterloo is getting a share of the credit for the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics.

Donna Strickland will be sharing half of the one million dollar prize money with Gérard Mourou of France while the other half goes to an American, Arthur Ashkin.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science made the announcement this morning, saying the trio are being recognized 'for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.'

Upon receiving the news, Strickland reportedly said, "First of all, you have to think it is crazy!"

Strickland holds a B.Eng Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Hamilton and a PhD of Physics (optics) from the University of Rochester.

Strickland is the third woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics; Maria Goeppert-Mayer won in 1963 and Marie Curie was honoured in 1903. "We need to celebrate women physicists because they're out there… I'm honoured to be one of those women," says Strickland. 

Officials with the Nobel Prize say Strickland and Mourou's work has paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses created by humankind, opening up new areas of research and leading to industrial and medical applications.

Ashkin's work deals with 'optical tweezers' which make it possible to observe, turn, cut, push and pull with light.