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Israeli scientist awarded 2011 chemistry Nobel

David Landes · 5 Oct 2011, 11:43

Published: 05 Oct 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00

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“His discovery led to a paradigm shift within chemistry,” Lars Thelander, chair of the Nobel committee, told reporters on Wednesday.

Shechtman, who is based at Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, first encountered an image in his electron microscope in 1982 that seemed “counter to the laws of nature”.

At the time, atoms were believed to be packed in crystals in symmetrical patterns. But Shectman's image revealed that atoms in his crystal were packed in a pattern that could not be repeated.

His findings were so controversial that he was asked to leave his research group, but eventually Shectman's discovery “forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter”, according to the Nobel committee.

Prior to Shechtman's discovery, the regular, non-repeating patterns of quasicrystals could be found in medieval Islamic mosaics.

Following Shechtman's findings, which were detailed in a paper published in 1984, the mosaics have helped scientists understand what quasicrystals look like at the atomic level.

Scientists have since produced other types of quasicrystals in laboratories. In addition, naturally occurring quasicrystals have been fund in mineral samples from a river in Russia.

A Swedish company has also found quasicrystals in a certain type of high-grade steel which "reinforce the material like armor", the Nobel committee explained.

Story continues below…

Scientists are now experimenting with using quasicrystals in products ranging from frying pans to diesel engines.

“Unique materials have unique qualities. What's important about the discovery of quasicrystals is the significance they have for basic research,” Nobel committee member Sven Lidin said during the prize announcement press conference.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:25 October 5, 2011 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Glory be to the Almighty!

Power ro the people!
14:10 October 5, 2011 by eppie
That is a very non-obvious choice.
14:40 October 5, 2011 by Iraniboy
"...His findings were so controversial that he was asked to leave his research group,"

This is when real science develops! Well done!
15:14 October 5, 2011 by Cornelius Hamelberg
I say Glory be to the Almighty and pray for more power to the people
16:22 October 5, 2011 by rybo1
Obama should get the prize, not this schmuck!
18:16 October 5, 2011 by benraph
Well Done Israel Again! Surrounded by enemies with missiles falling, this country still excels in all sciences. If the surrounding states put their energy into helping the world instead of sending their children off to blow themselves up, maybe they would also excel. As Golda Meir said, " There will only be Peace in the Middle East when Arabs love their children more than they hate Jews."
18:58 October 5, 2011 by Iraniboy
Here we go again! Our Trolls like Maril and benraph are now trying to ruin the sweetness of this prize with their political agenda!

This is exactly why Einstein declined to paritipate in political establishment in Isreal and kept his inteligence away from dirty politics.

As for Ahmadinejad nomination for Peace prize, I wouldn't find it very strange. After all the Israeli and US presidents who were liable for deaths of millions of innocent people have got it so why not another murdurer?
19:49 October 5, 2011 by gh2008
@MARILYNVOSSAVANT, or should i say Belmar?

Iraniboy is not Arab. he is Iranian.


my heart goes for you buddy. i, as an arab, don't hate Jews. in fact, two of my best friends ever are Jews. i used to work for one of them. i was ready to do all it takes to protect him; even if it was my religious, homeland fellas that were after him.

i don't want to speak for Iraniboy, but i am sure he doesn't hate Jews either.

does that make any change? i don't think so.

back to the article,

well done Israel.
20:31 October 5, 2011 by guliver

Iran with Ajahmed El Najar declared clearly it wants to cancel our state.

your reaction to the win of Prof,Shectman is not a surprise for me or for other Israelies.

We shell resist all our enemies and we shell defend our nation, we shell develop our culture ,science and art, and yes we shell seek peace with all arab nations including the Palestinians ,accepting the 2 states solution.
21:57 October 5, 2011 by Iraniboy

I've just read a little bit of your posts and I'm laughing here :D You are intresting but I am busy. Good luck!
02:05 October 6, 2011 by wolfbay
So far 5 of 7 nobels have been won by those pesky Jews.Must be another one of their many conspiracies. Obviously Malmo had no input in the selection.
07:33 October 6, 2011 by benraph

I am not saying all Arabs hate Jews. But look how people like iranboy twist the truth, and show how racist they are. he wrote "As for Ahmadinejad nomination for Peace prize, I wouldn't find it very strange. After all the Israeli and US presidents who were liable for deaths of millions of innocent people have got it so why not another murdurer?"

Now read this article published in a Turkish Newspaper, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=why-golda-meir-was-right-2011-08-23

He accuses Israeli presidents of killing millions of arabs, yet the truth is In all the wars since 1948 Israel has only killed 50,000. Now look at the figure of Iran killing Arabs in the Iran/Iraq war. I know he is not an Arab, but he twists the truth to spread vicious lies.

Israelis want peace more than any other nation in the world, but they don't want the peace that comes when you are 6 ft under the ground. They want true peace. And look whats happening with Egypt.
09:48 October 6, 2011 by eppie

But if you are honest you should also say that the jews that won nobel prizes in chemistry and physics highly likely are atheists and just jewish by birth.
19:21 October 6, 2011 by Bleichroeder

1. any records to confirm your thesis?

2. still, a a tremendous contribution from a tiny nation. continuing the contribution that this tiny nation had to humanity over the last 3000 years. From Moses to Einstein.
12:52 October 7, 2011 by cogito
by rybo1 (#5)

"Obama should get the prize, not this schmuck!"

No, not chemistry. But he should get the Physics prize. For walking on water. (according to the True Believers)
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