Shechtman Accepts Nobel Prize in Chemistry

By Haaretz

Published December 10, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in Stockholm Saturday, becoming the tenth Israeli to be awarded the prize. The prize was awarded by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Shechtman, a professor at Haifa’s Technion Institute, received the prize, valued at approximately one million Euros for cutting-edge work he did during the 1980s in the field of crystallography (the study of crystals). The prize was given for his discovery of atom patterns called quasicrystals, chemical structures previously thought impossible.

Up until then, scientists had thought the atom patterns inside crystals had to repeat themselves. The Academy said Shechtman’s discovery in 1982 fundamentally changed the way chemists look at solid matter.

Shechtman studied aluminum alloys, and found that they didn’t behave in a way solid matter had previously been thought behave. As a result he discovered a completely new class of solids.

At first, Shechtman’s discovery was ridiculed by the scientific establishment, but as time went by, recognition of his work and its significance grew, especially after his results were duplicated by fellow scientists. Shechtman continued his work studying, among other things, the crystallization of diamonds and a new alloy of magnesium.

Israel has an impressive showing when it comes to Nobel winners, with 10 laureates in its 63-year history. Most recently, Israeli scientist Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute won the same Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2009, for her work on the ribosomes. Three Israeli politicians have also won the Nobel Prize for peace - Menachem Begin in 1978, and Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.