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Donna Strickland
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Scientist
    (May 27, 1959- )
    Born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    With her thesis advisor, Gerard Mourou, developed chirped-pulse amplification of lasers (1985)
    Co-recipient, with Mourou and Arthur Ashkin, of the Nobel Prize in Physics (2018)
    Her middle name is Theo.
    Wikipedia did not consider her significant enough to deserve a page until after her Nobel Prize win.
    She describes herself as a ‘laser jock.’
    She received more attention than her two co-winners (mainly to serve as a hook for endless ‘why aren’t there more female Nobel laureates’ editorials).
    She was only the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics, following Marie Curie (1903) and Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963).
    She noted that while Goeppert-Mayer had to work as an unpaid assistant to her husband for most of her career, ‘I got paid the same as my male counterpart grad students and onward. So things have changed and hopefully keep changing for the better.’
    She and Mourou realized quickly that chirped-pulse amplification was an important development: ‘We knew it would be a game changer.’
    The technique she and Mourou developed has had numerous applications, including laser eye surgery.

Credit: C. Fishel


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