Richard P. Feynman


2014 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize

Foresight Institute Awards Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology to Amanda S. Barnard, Joseph W. Lyding

Palo Alto, CA – April 23, 2015 – Foresight Institute, a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for the 2014 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. These prestigious prizes, named in honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. Established in 1993, these prizes honor researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of productive nanosystems.

“The Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in nanotechnology are among the most prestigious awards in science,” said Paul Melnyk, President of Foresight Institute. “Molecular nanotechnology is defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems.”

“Foresight Institute established these prizes to encourage research in the development of molecular nanotechnology. The Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes are awarded to those making significant advances toward that end,” said Christine Peterson, Co-Founder and Vice President of Foresight Institute. “Productive nanosystems will result in the ultimate manufacturing technology. This capability will help us tackle fundamental problems that face humanity and lead to solutions that are good for people and good for the planet.”

Foresight Institute Feynman Prize – Theory. Research for diamond nanoparticles

Amanda S. BarnardDr. Amanda S. Barnard, Science Leader of Australia’s Office of the Chief Executive (OCE), The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), received the Theory Prize. Using entirely theoretical and computational methods, Dr. Barnard has spearheaded understanding of the structure and stability of carbon nanostructures, and the role that shape plays in establishing the properties and interactions under different conditions. Although she has made numerous important contributions to the modelling of graphene, nanotubes, and diamond nanowires, it is her work on diamond nanoparticles (nanodiamonds) that has the greatest impact in the area of molecular nanotechnology.

Foresight Institute Feynman Prize – Experimental. Development of scanning tunneling microscope (STM) technology

Joseph W. LydingThe Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for experimental work was awarded to Dr. Joseph W. Lyding, Professor at the University of Illinois, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Beckman Institute. Dr. Lyding is a pioneer in the development of scanning tunneling microscope (STM) technology and particularly hydrogen depassivation lithography. While many other STM practitioners have used the tool to do atomic and molecular manipulation of atoms and molecules on surfaces, hydrogen depassivation lithography is a generic patterning technique using a resist that allows pattern transfer to enable many different types of structures and functionalization of surfaces, all while maintaining atomic resolution and precision.

About Foresight Institute

Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies. Founded in 1986, its mission is to discover and promote the upsides, and help avoid the drawbacks, of nanotechnology, artificial Intelligence, biotechnology, and similar life-changing developments.

2014 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes for Theoretical and Experimental Molecular Nanotechnology

Two prizes in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. Synonyms include “atomically precise manufacturing” (APM) and “productive nanosystems”. Separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work.

The winners of this year’s prizes will be announced spring of 2015 and invited to accept the prize at the next Foresight Conference. For each Prize, a travel stipend of up to US$1500 will be provided for one winner (or one member of a winning team) to attend the Conference and accept the Prize.

This prize is given in honor of Richard P. Feynman who, in 1959, gave a visionary talk at Caltech in which he said “The problems of chemistry and biology can be greatly helped if our ability to see what we are doing, and to do things on an atomic level, is ultimately developed — a development which I think cannot be avoided.”

Relevant Research Areas

Research areas considered relevant to APM (e.g., atomically precise manufacturing, molecular manufacturing, productive nanosystems and molecular machine systems) include but are not limited to:

  • artificial molecular machines
  • atomically-precise construction
  • biomolecular machinery
  • computational chemistry and molecular modeling
  • mechanosynthesis
  • nanomechanical engineering
  • nanomanipulation
  • natural molecular machines
  • scanning probes and nanometrology
  • self-assembly
  • self-replicating machines
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • ultra-precision machining

Special consideration will be given to submissions clearly leading toward the construction of productive nanosystems. Applicants wishing further information on the field of the prize are referred to the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems and the book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation (Wiley Interscience, 1992).

Selection Committee for the 2014 Prizes

A committee chaired by a previous Feynman Prize recipient will be asked to select this year’s honorees.

Nominations and Submissions

Either submit your own work or nominate a colleague who deserves this prize.

Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes Submission or Nomination Instructions.