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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NOBEL PRIZE 2011-Shechtman Wins Chemistry Nobel for Crystal Find

An Israeli scientist won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for changing the prevailing views about the atomic structure of matter with his discovery of quasicrystals.
Dan Shechtman, 70, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, will get the 10 million-kronor ($1.4 million) award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said at a press conference in Stockholm today.

Dan Shechtman, Israeli citizen. Born 1941 in Tel Aviv, Israel. 
Ph.D. 1972 from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. 
Distinguished Professor, The Philip Tobias Chair, 
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, 
Haifa, Israel.

Shechtman persevered in the face of doubt and ridicule in describing a form of crystal whose patterns are regular but never repeat, a notion that shattered scientists’ belief that all crystals consist of recurring patterns. The structure endows quasicrystals with unique properties that may lead to better frying pans, LED lights and diesel engines, the academy said.
“His discovery of quasicrystals revealed a new principle for packing of atoms and molecules,” said Lars Thelander, who leads the Nobel Committee for Chemistry at academy. “This led to a paradigm shift within chemistry.”
Shechtman's Nobel Prize's winning work was
in the area of quasicrystals, ordered crystalline materials
 lacking repeating structures, such as this Ag-Al alloy
Quasicrystals look like the aperiodic mosaics found on the walls of the Alhambra Palace near Granada, Spain. They are hard but fracture easily, like glass, and have non-stick surfaces.
Shechtman was working at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology when he made his initial discovery. He had rapidly chilled a molten mixture of aluminum and manganese on the morning of April 8, 1982. It seemed strange, and when he examined it with his electron microscope, he couldn’t believe what he saw: concentric circles, each made of 10 dots at the same distance from each other. The atoms were arranged in a way that flouted the laws of nature, the Nobel committee wrote in a document describing Shechtman’s. Read more 
All Nobel Prizes in Chemistry


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