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German physicist 'overwhelmed' at winning Nobel Prize

However, Theodor W Haensch admitted he had long believed his work was worthy of such a honour.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2005 19:14 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

German physicist Theodor W Haensch said on Tuesday he was overwhelmed by winning the 2005 Nobel Physics Prize but admitted he had long believed his work was worthy of such a honour.

"What can I say, naturally I am overwhelmed," Haensch told AFP.

Haensch, a physics professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in the southern German city of Munich, and American scientist John L. Hall shared half of the prize for groundbreaking work on understanding light.

Their development of laser-based precision spectroscopy opens the way to the next generation of GPS navigation and ultra-precise atomic clocks.

Haensch, 63, described his research as a "continuous project with many detours, meanders and also of course frustrations" which had led to findings that he knew would cause interest way beyond the scientific community.

"It was the sort of discovery that makes headlines quickly," he said.

He said he had believed that his work would win the Nobel Prize one day.

"I just hadn't expected it to come this year," he said.

Roy J Glauber, an 80-year-old physics professor at Harvard University, won the other half of the Nobel prize for establishing the basis of quantum optics, which explained the fundamental difference between sources of light such as light bulbs and lasers.

First Published: Oct 04, 2005 19:14 IST