09/24/2015 12:29 EDT | Updated 09/30/2015 05:59 EDT

Paul Corkum, University Of Ottawa Professor, Could Win Nobel Prize In Physics

A Canadian physicist and University of Ottawa professor has been named a likely winner of the Nobel Prize in his field of study by scientific forecasters.

Paul Corkum, who was born in Saint John, N.B. and is currently the Canada Research Chair in Attosecond Photonics, joins Ferenc Krausz of Germany's Max Planck Institute in being deemed the favourite to win the Nobel Prize in physics on Oct. 6. The Nobel Prize is annually awarded to an individual who makes the most outstanding contribution to their field within a calendar year, or throughout their life's work.

According to the Globe and Mail, Prof. Corkum's work in developing lasers that can measure movements of atomic molecules by the billionth of a second is what propels him near the top of the list. This list, put forward by Thomson Reuters, is put out annually to recognize the stellar achievements of the most elite scientists in each field and its findings are based on one's research, profile and publications.

Since 2002, this Nobel Prize forecast has predicted the victories of 37 different winners. Similarly, those who do make the Thomson Reuters forecast can also be considered in later years. Toronto-based Hospital for Sick Children researcher Steve Scherer remains in contention for a prize in genetics this year, after being named to the Thomson Reuters forecast in 2014 for his studies about autism.

Canadians have long been considered for and rewarded with Nobel Prizes for their contributions to their fields of study or work. Back in 2013, celebrated short story author Alice Munro became the first Canadian to win the Nobel Prize for literature, and Willard S. Boyle won for his work in the field of physics in 2009.

As for his own inclusion on the 2015 Nobel Prize predictions list, Prof. Corkum told the Globe and Mail it is "quite a compliment."


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