3 Chemists Share Nobel Prize 2016 For Work On ‘Molecular Machines’


The Nobel Award for Chemistry has been jointly awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir Fraser Stoddart & Bernard Feringa, 3 chemistry wunderkinds, for their work on the “design & synthesis of molecular machines.”

The winners will get 8 million Swedish kronor ($940,000) for their valuable work, which will be divided equally between the three chemistry.

A member of the Nobel Panel described how Sauvage, Stoddard and Feringa – from the University of Strasbourg, Northwestern University, and the University of Groningen, respectively – have invested their lives bringing about the development of tiny nanomachines, extremely small-scale editions of the simple pumps and engines built in the Nineteenth century that heralded the Industrial Revolution.

“It’s been the dream of scientists over the last century take this achievement down to the molecular scale,” she described, once again wielding bagels and pretzels to describe the curiousness characteristics of their discoveries.

Back in 1983, Sauvage’s team created a molecular chain, one where two rings could automatically lock into each other on a range a 1000 times smaller sized compared to the size of a hair. Since then, a variety of minuscule devices have been created by all three research groups, showing that it’s possible to control the movement of the tiniest molecular bonds.

A statement released by the Nobels explained how “they developed the world’s smallest machines: a tiny lift, artificial muscles, and minuscule motors.” These machines are basically molecules with controllable movements, which signify a key stepping stone on the winding road towards a future full of nanomachinery that bends to our will.

“I don’t know what to say, and I’m a bit stunned – it was such a excellent surprise. I’m so honored and emotional about this,” Professor Feringa told reporters via cellphone.