The Foresight Institute, a nanotechnology education and public policy think tank based in Palo Alto, has announced the winners of the prestigious 2010 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology.
Established in 1993 in honor of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, two $5,000 prizes are awarded in two categories, theory and experiment, to recognize researchers whose recent work has most advanced the field toward the achievement of Feynman's vision for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems.
The winner of the 2010 Feynman Prize for Experimental work is Masakazu Aono (MANA Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan) in recognition of his pioneering and continuing work, including research into the manipulation of atoms, the multiprobe STM and AFM, the atomic switch, and single-molecule-level chemical control including ultradense molecular data storage and molecular wiring; and his inspiration of an entire generation of researchers who have made their own ground-breaking contributions to nanotechnology.
The winner of the 2010 Feynman Prize for Theory is Gustavo E. Scuseria (Rice University) for his development of quantum mechanical methods and computational programs that make it possible to carry out accurate theoretical predictions of molecules and solids, and their application to the chemical and electronic properties of carbon nanostructures.
"The answer to Feynman's 1959 question 'What would happen if we could arrange the atoms one by one the way we want them...' has come a step closer to reality," said Ralph C. Merkle, Chairman of the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize Committee. "Our ability to simulate and manipulate atoms will enable us to design and build engineered molecular machinery. This coming nanotechnology revolution will transform our world and our lives for the better."
The annual Feynman Prizes are leading to the eventual awarding of the $250,000 Feynman Grand Prize, an incentive prize for making a nanometer-scale robotic arm and a nanometer-scale computing device, the most critical components in future molecular manufacturing systems.