Science + Technology

Feynman Prizes In Nanotechnology Won By UCLA, Georgia Tech, HP Labs

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Nanotechnology's highest honors for the year 2000 have been awarded to researchers at Georgia Tech, HP Labs and UCLA for major advances in the ability to build useful devices and structures with atomic precision.

Two Feynman Prizes are given annually, one for experimental achievement and the other for theoretical work.

The Experimental Prize was awarded to the multidisciplinary team of James Heath, professor of physical chemistry at UCLA; chemist R. Stanley Williams; and computer scientist Philip Kuekes, both of HP Labs in Palo Alto (Williams is also an adjunct professor of chemistry at UCLA). Heath, Williams and Kuekes were cited for building a molecular switch, a major step toward their long-term goal of building entire memory chips that are just a hundred nanometers wide — smaller than a bacterium.

Uzi Landman, a physicist at Georgia Tech, won the Feynman Prize for theoretical work for his pioneering work in computational materials science for nanostructures.

The Feynman Prizes were given at the Eighth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, held this year in Bethesda, Md.

"We are seeing the start of a ramp-up in nanotechnology funding, from both public and private sources," said Foresight chair Eric Drexler. "The technical path is immensely challenging but should yield tremendous long-term payoffs in medicine, transportation, and the environment."

The Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology is named in honor of the late Nobel physicist Richard Feynman, whose visionary talk in 1959 continues to inspire today's nanotechnology R&D community.

Related URLs:

Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology: (http://www.foresight.org/FI/2000Feynman.html)

Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology: (http://www.foresight.org/conference/MNT8)

Feynman's 1959 talk: (http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/feynman.html)

James Heath: (http://www.chem.ucla.edu/dept/Faculty/heath/)

Stan Williams/Philip Kuekes: (http://www.hpl.hp.com/news/molecules_that_compute.html)

-UCLA-

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