Following Monday’s announcement of the winners of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which included Hungarian researcher Katalin Karikó, Tuesday marked the continuation of the Nobel Prize announcements with the physics category. And Hungary has reason to be proud again:
the shared physics Nobel went to yet another Hungarian-born scientist, Ferenc Krausz.
The researcher, holding both Hungarian and Austrian citizenship, resides in Germany, where he serves as the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics. He is also an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Born in Mór, Hungary in 1962, Krausz graduated in physics from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in 1985, while he also obtained an electrical engineering degree at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He commenced his research at the Institute of Physics at Budapest University of Technology and Economics before earning his doctoral degree at the Vienna University of Technology in 1991, where he later worked first as an associate professor, and then as a professor. In 2003, he was appointed Director of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany.
Since 2004, he has also been the head of the Experimental Physics Department at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Krausz’s research group was the first to generate and measure attosecond light pulses, which were used to map the motion of electrons within atoms, laying the foundation for the field of attophysics.
As the Hungarian Academy of Sciences notes, ‘Ferenc Krausz was the first to conduct real-time observations of electron motion on an atomic scale. Since then, the technique he developed has been utilized in various atomic and molecular physics processes, including the study of time-dependent photoionization.’ The results of Krausz’s pioneering experimental work are widely applied in research institutions worldwide, including the ELI-ALPS Research Institute in Szeged.
In 2022, the researcher was also awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics, alongside his colleagues, for their pioneering contributions to the field of ultrashort laser science and attosecond physics. Thomson Reuters had already identified Krausz as a potential Nobel laureate in physics back in 2015, given his groundbreaking work.
For the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics, Ferenc Krausz shares the honour with Pierre Agostini, a physics professor at Ohio State University, and Anne L’Huillier, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden. They are recognized ‘for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter,’ as per the official citation.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI