The Nobel Foundation today announced Dan Shechtman of Iowa State University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, and Israel’s Technion has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The foundation announced The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences picked Shechtman “for the discovery of quasicrystals.”
That 1982 discovery of crystalline materials whose atoms didn’t line up periodically like every crystal studied during 70 years of modern crystallography is regarded as a revolutionary find that changed ideas about matter and its atomic arrangement.
Shechtman is an Iowa State professor of materials science and engineering, a research scientist for the Ames Laboratory, and the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He is currently at the Technion in Haifa, Israel. The 70-year-old scientist joined Iowa State and the Ames Lab in 2004 and spends about four months a year in Iowa. He will return to Ames in mid-February.