This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics rewards research into quantum mechanics – the science that describes nature at the smallest scales, the BBC reports.
The award goes to Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger.
Their work could open the way to a new generation of powerful computers and telecommunications systems that are impossible to break into.
They will share prize money of 10 million Swedish krona.
This three laureates conducted ground-breaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two sub-atomic particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated.
“Quantum information science is a vibrant and rapidly developing field,” commented Eva Olsson, a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics.
“It has broad and potential implications in areas such as secure information transfer, quantum computing, and sensing technology.”
Alain Aspect, 75, is affiliated to the Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau. John Clauser, 79, runs his own company in California. Anton Zeilinger, 77, is attached to the University of Vienna.
The same three men won the Wolf Prize together in 2010.
Last year’s Physics Nobel was given to three scientists who advanced our understanding of complex systems – in particular, Earth’s climate.