Israeli scientist Shechtman wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 5, 2011 12:44

Technion scientist to receive $1.46 million prize for discovery of non-repeating patterns in quasicrystals; Shechtman is third Israeli to win Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman

Dan Shechtman 311. (photo credit:YouTube screenshot)

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2011 to Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman of the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. Shechtman is the tenth Israeli or Israeli-born scientist to win a Nobel Prize, and the third to win for chemistry.

Shechtman discovered quasicrystals, which have non-repeating patterns the committee described as "fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms."

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Prior to his discovery, crystals were thought to only have repeating patterns. The controversy of his finding was so great that Shechtman was asked, at one point, to leave his research group. His research, ultimately, prevailed, using Arabic mosaic patterns, which rely on mathematical non-repeating patterns, as a model.

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Shechtman was born 1941 in Tel Aviv, and earned his Ph.D. at the Technion in 1972. 

He will receive a prize of 10 million Swedish Kroner, equivalent to $1.46 million.

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