News of the first woman to win a Physics Nobel Prize, in 55 years made us curious about who the other female winners have been

Professor Dr. Donna Strickland, the first woman in 55 years to be honoured with a Nobel Prize in Physics, at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
Professor Dr. Donna Strickland, the first woman in 55 years to be honoured with a Nobel Prize in Physics, at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Donna Strickland is only the third woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics. She is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo.

She is honoured "for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses" alongside Gérard Mourou for the one half of the prize. The other half was awarded to Arthur Ashkin - collectively the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded "for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics".

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in a press statement said Donna and Gérard “paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind”.

READ MORE: This woman finally got recognition 45 years after her male colleagues got the Nobel prize for her discovery

Donna was quoted on News24 saying: "We need to celebrate women physicists because they're out there... I'm honoured to be one of those women."

This honour makes Donna the first woman in 55 years to be honoured in this category. Before her...

Maria Goeppert Mayer was honoured in 1963

Maria was honoured with the Nobel Prize in Physics alongside Hans Jensen "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure". Her affiliation at the time of the award was with the University of California.

This award was for work done in 1949 and the motivation for the prize was that Maria and Hans “developed a model in which nucleons were distributed in shells with different energy levels. The model reflected observations of directions in which nucleons rotated around their own axes and around the centre of the nucleus”.

READ MORE: Meet 5 of South Africa's successful black women in science - and they're under 35

Marie Curie was honoured in 1903

After being honoured with the Nobel Prize in 1903, Marie went on to be the first person ever to be awarded two Nobel Prizes. Her second prize was awarded in 1911.

The prize motivation awarded to Marie –  and her husband – in 1903 was "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel".

READ MORE: Meet the first black woman set to become a bank owner in South Africa

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