IBM Scientists Honored with Feynman Prize

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Dr. Gerhard Meyer

This past weekend, IBM Research scientists Gerhard Meyer, Leo Gross, and Jascha Repp (Dr. Repp now works at Regensburg University) were awarded the Foresight Institute‘s Feynman Prize for Experiment for their work in advancing the frontiers of scanning probe microscopy.

Dr. Richard Feynman is a Nobel Prize laureate, whose original goal of building systems of molecular machines with atomic precision is still the guiding vision of long-term nanotechnology. For this reason and dozens of others, the Foresight Institute established a prize in his honor in 1996, which was awarded to the IBM scientists — the third time an IBM scientist has been selected.

Ralph C. Merkle, chairman of the Prize Committee, lauded the three, saying “The work of these Feynman Prize winners has brought us one step closer to answering Feynman’s 1959 question, ‘What would happen if we could arrange atoms one by one the way we want them?’

Dr. Jascha Repp

“And the ability to simulate and manipulate atoms advanced by the work of these Prize winners will enable us to design and build engineered molecular machinery with atomic precision. It will take us another step on the way to the development of revolutionary nanotechnologies that will transform our lives for the better.”

Meyer and Gross continue a long tradition in microscopy at IBM Research – Zurich, which started in the early 1980s when the scanning tunneling microscope was invented.

Feynman also has a connection to IBM when as a young physicist he assisted in establishing a system for using IBM punched cards for computation.

In this video from 2009, Dr. Gross talks about imaging molecules.

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