06/10/2009 18:17:00

Foresight Institute Announces Feynman Prize Winners

The Foresight Institute, a nanotechnology education and public policy

think tank based in Palo Alto, has announced the winners of the

prestigious 2009 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 2009 Feynman Prize for Experimental work is the team

of Yoshiaki Sugimoto, Masayuki Abe, and Oscar Custance, in recognition

of their pioneering experimental demonstrations of mechanosynthesis,

specifically the use of atomic resolution dynamic force microscopy —

also known as non-contact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) — for

vertical and lateral manipulation of single atoms on semiconductor

surfaces. Their work, published in Nature, Science, and

other prestigious scientific journals, has demonstrated a level of

control over the ability to identify and position atoms on surfaces at

room temperature which opens up new possibilities for the manufacture of

atomically precise structures.

The winner of the 2009 Feynman Prize for Theory is Robert A. Freitas

Jr., in recognition of his pioneering theoretical work in

mechanosynthesis in which he proposed specific molecular tools and

analyzed them using ab initio quantum chemistry to validate their

ability to build complex molecular structures. This Prize also

recognizes his previous work in systems design of molecular machines,

including replicating molecular manufacturing systems which should

eventually be able to make large atomically precise products

economically and the design of medical nanodevices which should

eventually revolutionize medicine.

"What once seemed like a distant vision when it was first outlined by

Feynman in 1959 — a new manufacturing technology able to arrange the

very atoms that are the fundamental building blocks of matter — has come

a step closer to reality," said J. Storrs Hall, President of Foresight

Institute. "This is no small thing, for all manufactured products are

made from atoms — and if we can better control how those atoms are

arranged we can make fundamentally better products. Products that are

remarkably light, strong, smart, green, and cheap. Molecular

manufacturing will dwarf the Industrial Revolution."

The Feynman Prizes will be awarded in person in January near the Palo

Alto headquarters of Foresight Institute.

About Foresight Institute


Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest

organization focused on nanotechnology. Foresight dedicates itself to

providing education, policy development, and networking to ensure the

beneficial implementation of molecular manufacturing.

For further information, contact Christine Peterson, +1 650 289 0860 Ext

255, Peterson@foresight.org.

Foresight Institute

Christine Peterson, +1-650-289-0860 ext. 255


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