Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko awarded the 2023 Foresight Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology

  • Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM)
    22 November 2023
  • Category
  • Topic
    Physics & Materials Science

The Foresight Institute has recently named Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko from the Department of Physics and Materials Science at the University of Luxembourg as recipient of the 2023 Foresight Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology in the category of Theory. Prof Tkatchenko officially received it during the Foresight’s annual member meeting which took place on 17-19 November 2023 in Paris.

Since 1993, the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Theory is awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Richard Feynman’s vision for nanotechnology: achieving molecular manufacturing, wherein atomically precise products are constructed through molecular machine systems.

The Foresight Institute selected Prof. Tkatchenko for the development of methods that seamlessly merge quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and machine learning to unravel the intricacies of complex molecules and materials. In addition, he was already recognised with several prizes such as the 2020 Dirac Medal, the van der Waals award, and three European Research Council grants. Prof. Tkatchenko has shaped the understanding in his field, particularly through pioneering work in modeling critical van der Waals interactions and leading innovative research in machine-learned force fields.

Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko is very honoured to receive this award: “Richard Feynman famously said, “There is plenty of room at the bottom”, referring to the seamlessly endless possibilities offered by manipulating matter at the atomic level. My own work on quantum mechanics of large chemical and biological systems demonstrates that quantum effects offer seamlessly endless opportunities to manipulate structure and dynamics of matter at macroscopic scales, hence I believe that “There is plenty of room (for quantum mechanics) at the top”. In this way, my work goes along with Feynman’s dream of using quantum effects at the tiniest scales for creating useful (nano)technologies.”

“The University is very proud of Prof. Tkatchenko’s excellent scientific works, and we are delighted to see this recognised by the Foresight Feynman Prize”, reacted Prof. Simone Niclou, Vice-Rector for Research of the University of Luxembourg. “Such achievements also contribute to the visibility and reputation of our University, and provide inspiration for young researchers in physics.”