September 27, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass- Jonathan Friedman, an assistant professor of physics at Amherst College, has been awarded the Agilent Technologies' Europhysics Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Condensed Matter Physics. Concurrently, Friedman also has won a National Science Foundation grant to study molecular magnets. Friedman accepted the award at a symposium in Hungary at the end of summer and presented a talk on his work.

This award recognizes the important contributions that Friedman and his co-recipients have made to our understanding of the quantum behavior of molecular nanomagnets. These studies are important both for fundamental questions about quantum mechanics and for possible applications in the emerging field of nanotechnology. In particular, Friedman was recognized for his 1995 discovery with coworkers that these tiny magnets could reverse their direction by a distinctly quantum process known as tunneling.

The Europhysics Prize, which includes a substantial monetary award, is considered to be one of the most prestigious physics prizes presented in Europe. Eight previous winners have subsequently won Nobel Prizes for their outstanding work in physics. Since 1975, the award has been given to leading scientists in nearly every internationally important area of condensed matter physics.

The award is given in recognition of a recent work by one or more individuals in the area of physics of condensed matter, particularly work leading to advances in the fields of electronic, electrical and materials engineering, which, in the opinion of the Society's Selection Committee, represent scientific excellence. Given annually, the prize is funded by donations from the Agilent Technologies philanthropy programs to the European Physical Society. Agilent has a Website at