German scientist shares Nobel Prize for Physics

4th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2005, STOCKHOLM - The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to U.S. scientists Roy J. Glauber and John L. Hall and to Theodor W. Haensch of Germany for their work in the field of optics, it was announced Tuesday in Stockholm.

4 October 2005

STOCKHOLM  - The Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to U.S. scientists Roy J. Glauber and John L. Hall and to Theodor W. Haensch of Germany for their work in the field of optics, it was announced Tuesday in Stockholm.

Glauber, 80, of Harvard University was awarded half the prize money of 10 million kronor (EUR 1.1 million) "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Glauber's groundbreaking work, reported back in 1963, is in the theoretical description of the behaviour of light particles.

His contributions were described as "pioneering work in applying quantum physics to optical phenomena," the Academy said.

It added that Glauber had helped explain "fundamental differences between hot sources of light such as light bulbs, with a mixture of frequencies and phases, and lasers which give a specific frequency and phase".

Possible implementations of his work on quantum phenomena include encryption of messages within communication technology.

Hall, 71, of Colorado University and Haensch, 63, of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University, share the other half of the prize "for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique".

Haensch told reporters in Stockholm via telephone that he was at his Munich office when he learned he had won the prize.

"I was speechless and very, very ecstatic," he said. "I'm now trying to get used to the idea.

"I have learned that you don't have to know everything in your field. But you have to know what has previously not been known," he added.

Hall and Haensch's work was on the determination of the colour of the light of atoms and molecules with extreme precision. They also built on work by 1981 Physics laureates Nicolaas Bloembergen and Arthur L. Schawlow, both U.S. nationals.

"Glauber was the pioneer and door-opener. He was the first to understand that we also needed a quantum theory that encompasses light. Hall and Haensch worked on that," Borje Johansson, Physics Professor at Uppsala University and member of the Academy said.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Hall and Haensch had "made it possible to measure frequencies with an accuracy of fifteen digits".

This could enable the development of extremely accurate clocks and improved satellite-based navigation systems (GPS), as well as the study of the constants of nature over time.

The physics prize was the second of this year's Nobel awards, which are also made for medicine, chemistry, economics, peace and literature.

Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren were Monday awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their discovery of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium in the stomach, a major cause of ulcers.

The prizes were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. The prize ceremonies will be held December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

DPA

Subject: German news

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