Göran K. Hansson of the Nobel Foundation said part of the issue is that they often goes back in time to award prizes, a process which can take a lot of time to verify.
"It's kind of mind boggling, isn't it?" The prize now brings the total number of female recipients of this particular Nobel to three. Strickland is only the third woman in history to win the physics prize. Strickland is only the third woman to win the physics prize, and 55 years after the previous female victor (Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963).
"And with me here on podium is, to my right, Professor Olga Botner, the chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics, and on my left side, Professor Mats Larsson, who is the member of the committee and an expert in the field of this year's prize..." Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who discovered the nuclear shell structure and worked unpaid for many years, followed in 1963.
Her win comes a day after Europe's physics research center CERN suspended an Italian scientist, Alessandro Strumia, for telling a seminar at the organization's Swiss headquarters last week that physics was "invented and built by men".
"If somebody else thinks something that you don't believe in, just think they're wrong and you're right and keep going", Strickland said.
The prize for Ashkin recognizes work that the Nobel Committee characterized as "before its time". How ridiculous is that? "I'm honoured to be one of those women".
Mourou had been Strickland's PhD supervisor and said he was thrilled at the win. "It will keep improving, hopefully".
Strickland spoke briefly about the lack of women physics winners in a telephone call with the academy. Statistics show that women earn an even smaller percentage of bachelor's degrees in physics (20%) than they do bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields more broadly (35%).
When the pair refined the technique, Strickland recalled Mourou's advice to talk up their accomplishment and tell their peers that the gigawatt laser they had developed would lay the groundwork for devices a million times more powerful down the road.
She is a Canadian scientist at the University of Waterloo and winning the prize almost after 55 years ended the dry spell for women winning the prestigious laurel. She attended Victory Public School Willow Road Public School and Guelph CVI high school before attending university at McMaster.
"My sense is that women often work towards the collective good and often may sacrifice their individual career for advancing the community", she said. "And in the end I got to do that".
The other research honored by the prize - the invention by Arthur Ashkin of a way to use lasers to manipulate tiny objects - has let scientists study how proteins operate in the body and how they interact, Moloney said. Whereas, Mourou and Strickland were awarded for "for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses". He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Mourou is the recipient to many awards like the Wood Prize from the Optical Society of America, the Edgerton Prize from the SPIE, the Sarnoff Prize from the IEEE, and the 2004 IEEE/LEOS Quantum Electronics Award.