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Israeli Scientist Wins Nobel Prize For Chemistry

Photo: Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Talk about vindication. In 1982, colleagues of Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman thought he was crazy when he discovered quasicrystals, “a mosaic-like chemical structure that researchers previously thought was impossible.”

Today, Shechtman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday for his discovery of quasicrystals.

Shechtman made the discovery while studying a mix of aluminum and manganese in his microscope. He found a pattern — similar to Islamic mosaics — that “never repeated itself and appeared contrary to the laws of nature.”

That discovery “forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter,” the academy said.

According to a Today MSNBC story,  Shechtman was congratulated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said, “Every citizen of Israel is happy today and every Jew in the world is proud.”

An interview between Adam Smith, Editorial Director of Nobel Media, and Shechtman, who is currently affiliated with the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa is available online at the Nobel website.



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