- (Photo: Reuters/Scanpix)
A French and an American scientist have won the Nobel Prize on Tuesday after accomplishing a huge feat in quantum physics.
Serge Haroche of the College de France and David Wineland, who is based at the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology, will share the prize of $1.2 million.
The researchers were able to measure quantum particles without destroying them, which could mean a new kind of computer is possible. Both 68 years old, the scientists were awarded the prestigious Prize for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems," read the Nobel citation, according to BBC.
"The Nobel laureates have opened the door to a new era of experimentation with quantum physics by demonstrating the direst observation of individual quantum particles without destroying them," said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which bestowed the Nobel Prize in Physics to the researchers.
"Perhaps the quantum computer will change our everyday lives in this century in the same radical way as the classical computer did in the last century," continued the Academy, according to Reuters.
Both scientists have long worked in the field of quantum optics and with the interaction between light and matter.
Wineland described his work as a "parlor trick"- similar to when an object magically appear in two places at once.
Alternately, Haroche said it was "very overwhelming" to recognize a call from Sweden's Nobel judges, who told him he had won the Prize.
"I was in the street and passing a bench so I was able to sit down," the researcher said during a news conference in Stockholm via telephone, according to CBS News.
"First I called my children, then I called my closest colleagues, without them whom I would never have won this prize," he continued.
The award-winner will celebrate with "champagne, of course," Haroche added.