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Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award to Anne L'Huillier

Anne L'Huillier, Professor of Atomic Physics at LTH, was awarded the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Prize in 2020, an annual award for a researcher who has made a breakthrough in physics. Due to the pandemic, the award ceremony was cancelled, but next week the award ceremony will finally take place.

– Published 2 September 2022

Anne L'Huillier. Photo.
Anne L’Huillier, Professor of Atom Physics, is awarded the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, it is once again time for the Physics Centre at Chalmers to award the Lise Meitner Prize. The 2020 Lise Meitner Prize was awarded to Professor Anne L'Huillier “For pioneering contributions to attosecond laser science and technology."​​ The award ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 8, followed by two symposia on Friday, September 9, held in honour of the laureates.

Anne L'Huillier is a professor of Atomic Physics at LTH, Lund University. In her research, Anne L'Huillier uses laser technology to create ultra-short light pulses that make it possible to peek into the microcosm. The pulses are unbelievably short: an attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second.

With these "camera flashes" it is possible to study the movements of electrons inside atoms and molecules. Her research group conducts experiments that provide a new basic scientific understanding of the dynamics inside the atoms, for example when an atom is ionized.

Lise Meitner was a researcher in Berlin from 1907 to 1938, when she was forced to flee to Sweden, where she came to work for 20 years. As a woman she was initially not allowed in the laboratories where men worked and later she had a hard time getting a regular academic position. With these qualifications, she was still one of the leading nuclear physicists in the world. After her escape to Sweden, she was the first to understand nuclear fission when she during a stay in Kungälv Christmas in 1938 , along with her nephew Otto Frisch, could explain the results that Otto Hahn, her colleague in Berlin, sent her.

The prize is awarded by the Gothenburg Physics Centre, a collaboration of four departments at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, to celebrate researchers, but also to enrich the research environments and networks in Gothenburg through joint activities.

In February this year, it was also announced that Anne L'Huillier was one of this year's recipients of the Wolf Prize  - the most prestigious award in physics, second only to the Nobel Prize. Anne L'Huillier was the second woman to receive the award.

Chalmers writes about the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award

Professor Anne L'Huillier awarded Wolf Prize in Physics