October 6, 2011 Technion Prof. Dan Shechtman Awarded 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Professor Dan Shechtman of Technio’s Department of Materials Engineering. He was awarded the prize for his discovery of patterns in atoms called quasicrystals, a chemical structure that researchers previously thought was impossible.
The Technion is now home to three of the five Israelis in the country’s history to be awarded the Nobel Prize in science.

“His discovery was extremely controversial. In the course of defending his findings, he was asked to leave his research group,” said the committee. “However, his battle eventually forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter.”

“The celebration is not just for the Technion or for Israel, but for all of science,” Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman said Wednesday at a news conference after being named as the recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry. “There are thousands of scientists studying this subject I believe that they see this prize as also their achievement.”

Click to listen to Prof. Shechtman explain his discovery.