Anne L’Huilier, Pierre Agostini, and Feren Krausz won the 2023 Physics Nobel Prize. They developed “attoseconds”, extremely short pulses of light where one attosecond is one billionth of a billionth of a second. 

This allowed them to study the incredibly fast movements of electrons within atoms and molecules in real time. Before, it was impossible to observe such rapid movements because of their fleeting nature.

We now have a way to investigate the fundamental behaviors of electrons, which can enable a variety of technological advancements such as faster electronic devices and inroads in chemistry and biology. 

Two further fun facts: Anne L’Huilier started working on this in the 1980s and got back to the amphitheater to continue her class after she got a call informing her she had won. Indeed, her greatest gift to humanity is her teaching.

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