10 October 2013, 01:35

This prize for the whole community of people that took my discovery of quasi-periodic materials and turned it into a science - Nobel Laureate

Israel has long punched far above its demographic weight when it comes to the Nobel Prize. The latest Nobel laureates, Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt, announced Wednesday, mark Israel’s fifth and sixth winners of the chemistry prize in under a decade. Before them it was Tel-Aviv born Daniel Shechtman who received his Nobel in 2011 for the discovery of quasicrystals. Back in 1982 his innovative research fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter, according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The prize that I have received, and I received in alone, is really for the whole community of people that took my discovery of quasi-periodic materials and turned it into a science. So, though I’m the head of all this effort, there are hundreds of scientists around the world who really contributed a great deal to the understanding of quasi-periodic materials and discovering many more. So, the prize is really for the whole community.

I think it is a wonderful recognition of the importance of this science. I think that with my discovery we have created the paradigm shifts in the science of crystallography. In addition to what was known before, now we have a different understanding of how the structure can be created and formed into very tricky and interesting structure. So, I’m very happy about it. I think it gives me the greatest satisfaction regarding the importance of the science as it is seen by the Nobel Prize Committee.

Their contribution is not an experimental discovery. They have developed a computer simulation of chemical processes which enables us to understand them better and to predict how they can proceed. This is a great improvement of the science of chemistry clearly deserving the Nobel Prize. It is important for both the science and the industry. Nowadays, a computer is an integral part of chemical laboratories, like one of the instruments of great importance. And so, they really introduced a computer into the science of chemistry.

I don’t think I can add much more to what they said. A computer is an integral part in the development of chemical processes’ understanding. And this is why their introduction of computers into the laboratories is so important.

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