“Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type off superfast computer based on quantum physics," the academy said. “The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time."
Haroche is a professor at the College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. Wineland is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, and the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Haroche said he was out walking with his wife in Paris when he got the call from the Nobel judges.
“I was in the street and passing a bench so I was able to sit down," Haroche told a news conference in Stockholm by telephone. “It’s very overwhelming."
He said his work in the realm of quantum physics could ultimately lead to unimaginably fast computers. “You can do things which are prohibited by the laws of classical physics," he told The Associated Press.
Haroche also said quantum research could help make GPS navigating systems more accurate.
Wineland told the AP he was sleeping when his wife answered the phone at 3:30 a.m. local time in Denver. He was utterly shocked even though his name had come up before.
“But actually I hadn’t heard anything this time around. It was certainly surprising and kind of overwhelming right now," he said. “I feel like I got a lot smarter overnight."
Asked how he will celebrate, Wineland said: “I’ll probably be pretty worn out by this evening. I’ll probably have a glass of wine and fall asleep."