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Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa share Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has announced the winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The trio won for the "design and synthesis of molecular machines."

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa have won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

"The 2016 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have miniaturized machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension," the Academy added, noting that the machines are "a thousand times thinner than a hair strand."

The three scientists, based in France, the US and the Netherlands, developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added, the Academy noted.

"Molecular machines will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems," the statement read.

Exotic matter and autophagy

On Tuesday, British-born scientists David J. Thouless, F. Duncan Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz won the Nobel Physics Prize for revealing the secrets of exotic matter, the Nobel jury said following the announcement. 

"This year's laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films."

Thouless was awarded half the prize with the other half divided between Haldane and Kosterlitz.

On Monday, the Nobel Foundation, which administers the medals, awarded Japanese scientist, Yoshinori Ohsumi. the prize in the category of medicine for creating treatments for discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.

The main event will take place in Oslo on Friday, when the successor to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet as Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be named.

The Nobel Foundation will award the prize for literature on October 13, a week later than usual.

Prizes in all categories carry a purse of 8 million kroner ($960,000 dollars, 855,000 euros).

All awards will be conferred on December 10, the 120th anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.