3 win award for advances in work on the tiniest machines
Three scientists won a Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for advances in a field that has big hopes for very tiny machines — the smallest ever built.
Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Scottish-born Fraser Stoddart and Dutch scientist Bernard “Ben” Feringa were honored for making devices the size of molecules, so tiny that a lineup of 1,000 would stretch about the width of a human hair.
Someday, experts say, such devices might lead to benefits such as better computer chips and batteries and tiny shuttles that could be injected into patients to deliver drugs.
“There are not big applications looming up tomorrow,” said Stoddart, 74, a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who became a U.S. citizen in 2011.
“I applaud the fact that for once in chemistry Stockholm has recognized a piece of chemistry that is extremely fundamental in its making and being,” he said.