TIME Science

Three People Have Been Awarded the Nobel Chemistry Prize for ‘Molecular Machines’

Jonathan Nackstrand—AFP/Getty Images This picture shows a display prior to the official announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Oct. 5, 2016.

Molecular machines would be used in the development of "new materials, sensors and energy storage systems"

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, British-born J. Fraser Stoddart and Dutch scientist Bernard Feringa on Wednesday won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing molecular machines.

The laureates share the eight million kronor ($930,000) prize for the “design and synthesis” of molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

The academy said molecular machines “will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems.”

The chemistry prize was the last of this year’s science awards. The medicine prize went to a Japanese biologist who discovered the process by which a cell breaks down and recycles content. The physics prize was shared by three British-born scientists for theoretical discoveries that shed light on strange states of matter.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday, and the economics and literature awards will be announced next week.

The Nobel Prizes will be handed out at ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, wanted his awards to honor achievements that delivered the “greatest benefit to mankind.”

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