Nobel Prize in Physics, 2018
She was born on May 27th, 1959 in Guelph (Canada). When she was five years old, her father took her to visit a scientific centre, and this aroused her interest in optics
In 1981 she graduated in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Hamilton, (Ontario) and received her doctorate in Optics from the University of Rochester (New York) supervised by the French scientist Gérad Mourou. Together they developed chirped pulse amplification or CPA, with which they were able to obtain ultra short high intensity la-ser pulses without destroying the amplifying material.
In 1985 they published their novel method on which she based her doctorate in 1989. Soon it was very useful in medicine, especially in corrective eye surgeries. In 1997, she entered the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Waterloo, in Canada, where she works at present.
She has sometimes stated that on her first visit to a laser research laboratory she thought that the colors resembled a Christmas tree and that the field of white light generation encloses magic: A part of me is always fascinates with the possibility of playing with colorful lasers... Light passes through the water, or any other transparent material, and all the colors of the rainbow appear. It is one of those things that are worth seeing.
In 2018 she received the Nobel Prize in Physics together with Gérad Mourou: For their method to allow ultra-short and high intensity optical pulses to be generated... these inven-tions coincide with Alfred Nobel's spirit of recognizing advances for the greatest benefit to humankind.
In her speech at the Nobel Banquet, she highlighted the magic of her profession: I think experimental physics is especially fun, because not only do you get to solve puzzles about the universe or on Earth, there are really cool toys in the lab.
Donna Strickland is the third woman to have received the Nobel Prize in Physics, after Maria Sklodowska-Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963