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Nobel Prize in Physics

Richard Feynman’s medal sold at auction

In 1965, American physicist Richard Feynman, who would have turned 100 this year, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics, which had profound implications on particle physics. In addition to the cash prize, shared with Japanese and American scientists Shin-Itiro Tomonaga and Julian Schwinger, Feynman received a 182.5-gram, 23-carat-gold medal. More than half a century later, this medal has been auctioned in New York, USA. An anonymous collector bought it for US$975,000, along with a collection of the scientist’s manuscripts and papers from his personal research library. The medal was just one of the items up for sale in Sotheby’s History of Science and Technology auction. A Bible signed by German physicist Albert Einstein was also available, but was not sold. Another auction held in November, by Christie’s in the UK, made US$2.3 million from the sale of items that belonged to British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who died in March. Among the items auctioned was a motorized wheelchair, which sold for US$390,000.