Mr Mourou said he found it hard to describe his emotions at winning.
It is then passed to through a gain medium, a material that increases the amplitude of the laser waves by a million times or more, and then compressed.
Working together, Strickland and Mourou helped develop a way to produce very brief and intense laser pulses that have broad industrial and medical applications, including laser eye surgery and highly precise machine cutting. These days, though, scientific research is "a hobby more or less", he told the official website of the Nobel Prize.
"We needed a new way to create the peak power of laser pulses", said Michael Moloney, chief executive officer of the group.
While laser eye surgery is the most familiar application of their work, it has also let scientists probe fundamental forces acting within matter at very high temperatures and pressures, Mr Moloney said.
The inventions honoured this year have revolutionized laser physics.
It's immediately followed by this: "The red-haired college professor, mother of two, is the first woman residing in America to win a Nobel physics prize, the second woman in history".
At 96, Ashkin is the oldest ever Nobel prize victor, but he is still busy with fresh research. The economics victor in 2012, Lloyd Shapley, was 89. - "a lot of wrong turns" - before landing on the one that has now earned her the Nobel Prize.
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The work of the three winners constitutes "fundamental breakthroughs in physics that led to tools that are now being used all over science", said Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Dr Ashkin developed a laser technique described as optical tweezers, which is used to study biological system.The last woman to win the physics prize, German-born American physicist Maria Goeppert-Mayer, took the prize for her discoveries about the nuclei of atoms. "And I did not know that she was that she", Strickland said.
"We are obviously disappointed", Arnault's lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig told TT.
"We need to celebrate women physicists because they're out there".
FILE- Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Physics, and Chemistry are conferred upon people who have excelled in the field of science.
Out of 923 total Nobel Prize laureates, only 48 of those have been women, and just three in the physics category. The first was Marie Curie of France in 1903.
In 2008, she was named a fellow of the Optical Society of America for her pioneering work in the field of ultrafast laser and optical science.
The other half will jointly go to Gerard Mourou, from Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France, and the University of MI in Ann Arbor, and Donna Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, "for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses".
Arthur Ashkin invented the "optical tweezers", highly focused beams of light that allow you to manipulate microscopic objects and living organisms.