Hungarian researcher wins this year's Nobel Prize in Physics

ELI ALPS would like to congratulate Anne L'Huillier, Ferenc Krausz and Pierre Agostini on winning the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics. The Nobel Committee has recognized the three researchers “for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter.”

Hungarian researcher wins this year's Nobel Prize in Physics

Krausz Ferenc előadást tart kutatóintézetünkben 2017-ben / Ferenc Krausz gave a presentation at ELI ALPS in 2017

We are extremely delighted and proud that this year’s Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded for achievements in the field of attoscience, the emerging field that provides access to the fastest electronic processes occurring at the atomic and molecular level with attosecond (1 as = 10–18 s) time resolution having wide-ranging physical, chemical, materials science and biological applications.

Anne L'Huillier is a French-Swedish physicist working on the interaction between short and intense laser fields with atoms. She defended her thesis on multiple multiphoton ionization in1986, at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris and Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA). She obtained a permanent researcher position at the CEA the same year. She was postdoc at the Chalmers Institute of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1986 and at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1988. She was visiting scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1993. In 1995 she became Associate Professor at Lund University, then was appointed Professor of Physics in 1997. She has been member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 2004. 

In 2021, L'Huillier was awarded the Optical Society of America Max Born Award for “pioneering work in ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics, realizing and understanding high harmonic generation and applying it to time-resolved imaging of electron motion in atoms and molecules”. In 2022, she received the Wolf Prize in Physics for “pioneering contributions to ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics”. In the same year, she was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences.

Ferenc Krausz is a Hungarian-Austrian physicist, whose research team generated and measured the first attosecond light pulse in 2001, and used it for capturing electrons’ motion inside atoms, marking the birth of attophysics.

Krausz studied physics at Eötvös Loránd University and electrical engineering at the Technical University of Budapest in Hungary. After his habilitation at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, he became professor at the same institute. In 2003 he was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, and in 2004 he became chair of experimental physics at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. In 2006, he co-founded the Munich-Centre of Advanced Photonics (MAP) and began serving as one of its directors.

The third recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize for physics is Pierre Agostini, a French-American experimental physicist known for the invention of the RABBITT (reconstruction of attosecond beating by interference of two-photon transitions) technique for the characterization of attosecond light pulses.

Agostini studied at Aix-Marseille University, obtaining his PhD in 1968. After his doctorate, he became a researcher at CEA Saclay, holding various different positions until 2002. He became professor of physics at Ohio State University in 2005.

Anne L'Huillier’s and Ferenc Krausz’s activities are significantly intertwined with ELI ALPS Laser Research Institute.

L'Huillier was member of the Scientific Advisory Committee tasked with defining the concept of our research centre. Furthermore, she supervised the development and installation of one of our attosecond beamlines, which still means day-to-day cooperation between her and our scientists. Several colleagues would like to take this opportunity to express their personal respect to Professor Anne L'Huillier, who has provided professional guidance and encouragement along their careers. Prof. Katalin Varjú, our science director is deeply indebted to her for the support she received during her stay at Lund University.

Ferenc Krausz is credited with paving the way for the establishment of the Hungarian pillar of ELI in Szeged, and with efforts to attract talented scientists to Hungary.

We would like to extend our congratulations once more to all three Nobel laureates in recognition of their achievements, which also laid the foundation for research activities at ELI ALPS.