Yale University in New Haven, Conn., announced that Hong Tang, an assistant professor of engineering at its School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS), is one of 16 US scientists selected as a 2009 Packard Fellow. Tang’s research in photonics focuses on using the incredibly weak force exerted by ordinary light to manipulate components of silicon chips (See also Repulsive Light Force Rules). Employing light rather than electricity to throw nanoscale switches, for example, could enable new routes for classical and quantum computing. “The full potential of this platform has yet to be fully realized. Being awarded the Packard Fellowship is recognition that this is an area of research that has far-reaching applications, opening up new avenues of research,” said Tang. “Their support will allow us to work on the forefront of nanoscale quantum physics while simultaneously bringing light force devices into engineerable reality.” The fellowship is given annually to the country’s most innovative young researchers in the natural or physical sciences and engineering; it consists of an unrestricted grant of $875,000 over five years. Tang joined Yale in 2006 after receiving his PhD from the California Institute of Technology. Earlier this year, he also won a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.