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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 21 (2016) pp 146-154

Dan Shechtman and Quasicrystals: The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

George B. Kauffman*

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published: 8 August 2016

Abstract. Israeli materials scientist Dan Shechtman (b. 1941) received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the discovery of quasicrystals,” a mosaic-like structure previously thought to be impossible. Although mocked, ridiculed, and insulted by colleagues (Two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling did not believe in his discovery) and exiled from his research group, the prize marks his ultimate vindication. His revolutionary discovery of April 8, 1982 that changed our ideas about matter and its atomic arrangement are discussed in detail in this article.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; Nobel Prizes; History of Chemistry; Israeli Chemistry; Jewish Nobel Laureates; Crystallography; Quasicrystals; Materials Science; Aperiodicity; Overturning Paradigms; Perseverance in Science; Multicomponent Alloys; Cross-Discliplinary Science; Electron Microscopy; Icosahedral Model; Diffraction Patterns; Computer Simulation; Fivefold Symmetry; Atomic Structure.

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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