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Dan Shechtman

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Title: Dan Shechtman  
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Subject: History of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Wolf Prize in Physics, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Israeli presidential election, 2014
Collection: 1941 Births, Articles Containing Video Clips, Crystallographers, Iowa State University Faculty, Israel Prize in Physics Recipients, Israeli Chemists, Israeli Jews, Israeli Materials Scientists, Israeli Nobel Laureates, Israeli Physicists, Jewish Chemists, Jewish Physicists, Living People, Members of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Members of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Members of the United States National Academy of Engineering, Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, People from Tel Aviv, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Alumni, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Faculty, Wolf Prize in Physics Laureates
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Dan Shechtman

Dan Shechtman
דן שכטמן
Dan Shechtman, Nobel Prize 2011 press conference.
Born (1941-01-24) 24 January 1941
Tel Aviv, Israel
Fields Materials science
Institutions Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Johns Hopkins University
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Iowa State University
Alma mater Technion
Known for Quasicrystals
Notable awards Israel Prize (1998)
Wolf Prize in Physics (1999)
Gregori Aminoff Prize (2000)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2011)
Spouse Tzipora Shechtman

Dan Shechtman (Hebrew: דן שכטמן; born January 24, 1941)[1] is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. On April 8, 1982, while on sabbatical at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C., Shechtman discovered the icosahedral phase, which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals.[2] Shechtman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals, making him one of six Israelis who have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.[3][4][5][6]


  • Biography 1
  • Academic career 2
  • Work on quasicrystals 3
  • Presidential bid 4
  • Awards 5
  • Published works 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


Dan Shechtman was born in Tel Aviv,

Preceded by
Richard Heck
Ei-ichi Negishi
Akira Suzuki
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Succeeded by
Brian Kobilka
Robert Lefkowitz

External links

  • D. P. DiVincenzo and P. J. Steinhardt, eds. 1991. Quasicrystals: The State of the Art. Directions in Condensed Matter Physics, Vol 11. ISBN 981-02-0522-8.
  • T. Janssen. 2007. Quasicrystals: Comparative dynamics. Nature Materials, Vol 6., 925-926.

Further reading

  1. ^ a b Dan Shechtman. (PDF). Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  2. ^ "Israeli Wins Chemistry Nobel For Quasicrystals". Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  3. ^ a b Iowa State, Ames Laboratory, Technion Scientist Wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry. (2011-10-05). Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  4. ^ Tiny Israel a Nobel heavyweight, especially in chemistry
  5. ^ Israel’s Shechtman vindicated with Nobel for chemistry AFP (in Al Arabiya News) Thursday, 06 October 2011
  6. ^ Fiske, Gavriel (2013-10-09). "Tiny Israel a Nobel heavyweight, especially in chemistry". Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  7. ^ Professor Zipora Shechtman. Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  8. ^ He deserves it, wife of 2011 Nobel Chemistry laureate says. (2011-10-05). Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  9. ^ Shechtman Wins Chemistry Nobel for Crystal Find. (2011-10-05). Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  10. ^ Genealogy of the Shechtman family. (2010-08-12). Retrieved on 2012-01-28.
  11. ^ Iowa State prof wins Nobel in chemistry (Chicago Tribune, October 5, 2011)
  12. ^ В ТПУ впервые прошло заседание Международного научного совета
  13. ^ Ünal, B; V. Fournée; K.J. Schnitzenbaumer; C. Ghosh; C.J. Jenks; A.R. Ross; T.A. Lograsso; J.W. Evans; P.A. Thiel (2007). "Nucleation and growth of Ag islands on fivefold Al-Pd-Mn quasicrystal surfaces: Dependence of island density on temperature and flux". Physical Review B 75 (6): 064205.  
  14. ^ a b c d e f Lannin, Patrick (2011-10-05). "Ridiculed crystal work wins Nobel for Israeli". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  15. ^ Kleinert H., Maki K. (1981). "Lattice Textures in Cholesteric Liquid Crystals" (PDF). Fortschritte der Physik 29 (5): 219–259.  
  16. ^ Jha, Alok (5 Jan 2013). "Dan Shechtman: 'Linus Pauling said I was talking nonsense'". Guardian. 
  17. ^ Bradley, David (Oct 5, 2011). "Dan Shechtman discusses quasicrystals". ScienceBase. Retrieved 5 October 2011.  Shechtman video interview
  18. ^ "Clear as crystal". Haaretz. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  19. ^ Janot, Christian (1997). Quasicrystals – a primer, 2nd ed. Oxford University Publishing. 
  20. ^ Van Noorden, Richard (2011-10-05). "Impossible crystals snag chemistry Nobel".  
  21. ^ Carpenter, Jennifer (2011-10-05). "Nobel win for crystal discovery". BBC. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ "Wolf Prize Recipients in Physics". Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  24. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1998 (in Hebrew)". 


See also

  • Shechtman, D.; Blech, I.; Gratias, D.; Cahn, J. (1984). "Metallic Phase with Long-Range Orientational Order and No Translational Symmetry".  
  • Swartzendruber, L.; Shechtman, D.; Bendersky, L.; Cahn, J. (1985). "Nuclear γ-ray resonance observations in an aluminum-based icosahedral quasicrystal".  
  • Cahn, John W.; Gratias, Denis; Shechtman, Dan (1986). "Pauling's model not universally accepted".  
  • Shechtman, Dan (1988). "The Icosahedral Quasiperiodic Phase".  
  • Cahn, John W.; Shechtman, Dan; Gratias, Denis (1986). "Indexing of icosahedral quasiperiodic crystals". Journal of Materials Research 1: 13.  

Published works


On January 17, 2014, in an interview with Israel's Channel One, Shechtman announced his candidacy for President of Israel.[22] Shechtman received the endorsement of the ten Members of Knesset required to run. In the elections, held on 10 June 2014, he was awarded only one vote. This led Israeli press and Israeli humorists to qualify Shechtman as "quasi-president" in reference to the "quasi-scientist" quote.

Presidential bid

The Nobel prize was 10 million Swedish krona (approximately US$1.5 million).[14]

Quasicrystalline materials could be used in a large number of applications, including the formation of durable steel used for fine instrumentation, and non-stick insulation for electrical wires and cooking equipment.,[20][21] but presently have no technological applications.

A quasiperiodic crystal, or, in short, quasicrystal, is a structure that is ordered but not periodic. A quasicrystalline pattern can continuously fill all available space, but it lacks translational symmetry.[19] "Aperiodic mosaics, such as those found in the medieval Islamic mosaics of the Alhambra palace in Spain and the Darb-i Imam shrine in Iran, have helped scientists understand what quasicrystals look like at the atomic level. In those mosaics, as in quasicrystals, the patterns are regular -- they follow mathematical rules -- but they never repeat themselves."[14]"An intriguing feature of such patterns, [which are] also found in Arab mosaics, is that the mathematical constant known as the Greek letter tau, or the "golden ratio", occurs over and over again. Underlying it is a sequence worked out by Fibonacci in the 13th century, where each number is the sum of the preceding two."[14]

The Nobel Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that "his discovery was extremely controversial," but that his work "eventually forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter."[14] Through Shechtman's discovery, several other groups were able to form similar quasicrystals, finding these materials to have low thermal and electrical conductivity, while possessing high structural stability. Quasicrystals have also been found naturally.

Linus Pauling is noted saying "There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists."[14] Pauling was apparently unaware of a paper in 1981 by H. Kleinert and K. Maki which had pointed out the possibility of a non-periodic Icosahedral Phase in quasicrystals[15] (see the historical notes). The head of Shechtman's research group told him to "go back and read the textbook" and a couple of days later "asked him to leave for 'bringing disgrace' on the team."[16] Shechtman felt dejected.[14] On publication of his paper, other scientists began to confirm and accept empirical findings of the existence of quasicrystals.[17][18]

From the day Shechtman published his findings on quasicrystals in 1984 to the day Linus Pauling died (1994), Shechtman experienced hostility from him toward the non-periodic interpretation. "For a long time it was me against the world," he said. "I was a subject of ridicule and lectures about the basics of crystallography. The leader of the opposition to my findings was the two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, the idol of the American Chemical Society and one of the most famous scientists in the world. For years, 'til his last day, he fought against quasi-periodicity in crystals. He was wrong, and after a while, I enjoyed every moment of this scientific battle, knowing that he was wrong."

Interview with Dan Shechtman after his Nobel lecture
Shechtman's Nobel Prize–winning work was in the area of quasicrystals, ordered crystalline materials lacking repeating structures, such as this Al-Pd-Mn alloy.[13]

Work on quasicrystals

Since 2014 he has been the head of the International Scientific Council of Tomsk Polytechnic University.[12]

Shechtman joined the Iowa State faculty in 2004. He currently spends about five months a year in Ames on a part-time appointment.[3][11]

In 1992–1994 he was on sabbatical at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where he studied the effect of the defect structure of CVD diamond on its growth and properties. Shechtman's Technion research is conducted in the Louis Edelstein Center, and in the Wolfson Centre which is headed by him. He served on several Technion Senate Committees and headed one of them.

After receiving his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the Technion in 1972, where he also obtained his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1966 and M.Sc. in Materials Engineering in 1968,[1] Prof. Shechtman was an NRC fellow at the Aerospace Research Laboratories at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he studied for three years the microstructure and physical metallurgy of titanium aluminides. In 1975 he joined the department of materials engineering at Technion. In 1981–1983 he was on Sabbatical at Johns Hopkins University, where he studied rapidly solidified aluminum transition metal alloys, in a joint program with NBS. During this study he discovered the Icosahedral Phase which opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals.

Meeting at NIST in 1985 where Shechtman (left) explains the atomic structure of quasicrystals

Academic career


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