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Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman for the discovery of ‘quasicrystals’.

The Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Shechtman had discovered “quasicrystals”, which it said were like “fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms" and which never repeated themselves. Up until the discovery, scientists had thought the atom patterns inside crystals had to repeat themselves and “Shechtman had to fight a fierce battle against established science”.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 has “fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter”, the committee said.

Shechtman, from the Israel Institute of Technology, was awarded 10 million Swedish crowns. His prize is the third of this year’s Nobel prizes.

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