Jerry Nelson, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, US, Ray Wilson, formerly of Imperial College London and the European Southern Observatory, and Roger Angel, of the University of Arizona, Tucson, US, share the astrophysics prize for their respective innovations in the field of telescope design that have allowed us glimpses of ever more distant and ancient objects and events in the remote corners of the Universe.
Angel created mirrors made of cheap glass and molded them to incorporate a honeycomb pattern of holes, to reduce their weight and increase their rigidity, allowing the building of larger telescopes.
Approaching the same problem from a different direction, Wilson developed computer-controlled actuators to make small constant changes to telescope mirror shapes to correct for distortions caused by gravity, wind and temperature, during use. Nelson meanwhile abandoned the idea of using a single large mirror in favor of a system comprising of multiple small hexagonal mirror tiles that are carefully shaped and controlled by computerized actuators to constantly maintain the ideal reflecting surface.
The nanoscience prize was awarded jointly to US scientists Donald M. Eigler, of IBM's Almaden Research Centre, San Jose, California, and Nadrian Seeman, of New York University. Eigler reserved his place in the history of science in 1989 when he became the first person ever to pick up an individual atom and move it precisely to another locatio
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The Kavli Foundation