Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail passes away

Aug 4, 2016 08:29 IST

Ahmed ZewailAhmed Zewail, the Egyptian-American scientist who won Nobel Chemistry Prize in 1999, died in the United States on 2 August 2016. He was 70.

He won the noble for his pioneering work in femtochemistry, the study of chemical reactions in ultra-short time scales approximately 10−15 seconds (one femtosecond, hence the name).

Ahmed Zewail

• Born on 26 February 1946, Zewail is known as the father of femtochemistry.

• He was Linus Pauling professor of chemistry and director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology at California Institute of Technology.

• He was a Science Advisor to President Obama and the first Arab Scientist to win the Nobel Prize.

• He received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from Alexandria University.

• He completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania supervised by Robin M. Hochstrasser.

• He did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley supervised by Charles Bonner Harris.

• He was awarded a faculty appointment at the California Institute of Technology in 1976.

• He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1982.

• He joined the United Nations Scientific Advisory Board in 2013.

• He was an author of about 600 scientific articles and 16 books.

• He was a recipient of several honours and awards. Some of them were

a) Egypt's Order of the Grand Collar of the Nile

b) Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1993)

c) The Othmer Gold Medal in 2009

d) The Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society

e) Davy Medal from the Royal Society in 2011

f) He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2001

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