American Institute of Physics
Press Release

AIP Congratulates 2023 Nobel Prize Winners in Physics

OCT 03, 2023
Nobel committee honors work that reveals the hidden world of electrons, probing at the atomic timescale for electronic, chemical, and medical applications
AIP 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics Image

Illustration by Abigail Malate, AIP

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2023 - The 2023 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz, and Anne L’Huillier “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.”

“This work is truly groundbreaking. Attosecond laser pulses reveal the hidden world of electron dynamics within atoms and molecules,” said Michael Moloney, CEO of the American Institute of Physics. “These techniques help us peer inside atoms to the scale of electrons, which were previously moving too fast for us to see — we didn’t have a strobe light fast enough to resolve the motion. This new window into the natural world allows us to probe electron dynamics in atomic and molecular systems, which are at the heart of the chemical and physical interactions of materials that underpin all our electronic, chemical, and medical innovations and technology.”

An attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second; this unfathomably short unit of time is needed to measure the duration of the interactions between atoms and electrons. Experiments in this regime were once believed to be impossible, but a series of advances by Agostini, Krausz, and L’Huillier demonstrated their viability and potential. These discoveries allowed researchers to better understand practical applications in ultrafast semiconductor switching, medical analysis of blood plasma, and dynamic control of electrons in materials, the Nobel Committee noted.

Pierre Agostini is an emeritus professor at Ohio State University. In 2001, his team generated and measured a series of consecutive light pulses, in which each pulse lasted only 250 attoseconds. They were able to show that harmonic generation could be a promising source for attosecond time-resolved measurements.

Ferenc Krausz is the director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and a Professor of Experimental Physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. In 2001, his team became the first to create and measure a light pulse lasting less than one femtosecond, marking the birth of attosecond physics.

Anne L’Huillier is a professor of atomic physics at Lund University in Sweden. In 2003, her team beat the world record for the fastest laser pulse, at 170 attoseconds. Her continued work to push the boundaries of attosecond physics has led to advances in the field of photoionization.

“This year’s prize is a spectacular demonstration of pioneering fundamental research pushing past the limits of what we once thought possible,” said AIP Publishing’s Chief Publishing Officer, Penelope Lewis. “Through their remarkable experimental and theoretical approaches to measuring ultrafast electronic dynamics, Agostini, Krausz, and L’Huillier are allowing us to understand essential physical processes at previously unattainable levels of detail.”

To help journalists and the public understand the context of this work, AIP is compiling a Nobel Prize resources page featuring relevant scientific papers and articles, quotes from experts, photos, multimedia, and other resources.

Dedicated Resources Page
A list of scientific resources and contacts will be filled with relevant information pertaining to the winners and their scientific achievements and available at . The page will be updated as more information, assets, and resources are uncovered concerning the winning science.

Access to Experts for Comment and Interviews
Scientific experts from AIP and AIP Publishing journals are available to comment on the new laureates, their accomplishments, and the importance of the Nobel Prize to the broader world of science. Interviews and quotes can be obtained by contacting .

Multimedia Archives
Digital images from the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives are available for free to anyone who is diving into photos for images of laureates, past and present. The new, searchable platform for photos also houses manuscripts, publications, audiovisual materials, and more from AIP’s Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Nobel Reporting
Physics Today , an AIP publication, will be adding their reporting expertise. There will be a morning briefing and an afternoon comprehensive report on the physics prize posted on their site and sent to weekly email newsletter subscribers.


About AIP
The mission of AIP (American Institute of Physics ) is to advance, promote, and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity. AIP is a federation that advances the success of our 10 Member Societies and an institute that operates as a center of excellence supporting the physical sciences enterprise. In its role as an institute, AIP uses policy analysis, social science, and historical research to promote future progress in the physical sciences. AIP is a 501(c)(3) membership corporation of scientific societies.

About AIP Publishing
AIP Publishing’s mission is to advance, promote, and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity by breaking barriers to open, equitable research communication and empowering researchers to accelerate global progress. AIP Publishing is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and supports the charitable, scientific, and educational purposes of AIP through scholarly publishing activities on its behalf and on behalf of our publishing partners.

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