The Nobel Prize.
The Nobel Prize.

Daniel Shechtman's 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is an inspiration for focused chemistry students. His compelling story began with a chance encounter under an electron microscope and it led to the highest honor in science. It wasn't easy. His initial exuberance turned to discouragement as his colleagues laughed in his face. But his persistence enabled him to prevail over grueling pessimism and eventually led to a Nobel Prize for the discovery of the quasicrystal.

Shechtman's findings contradicted longstanding crystal theory and conclusions about the nature of matter. Before Shechtman's discovery, science texts stated plainly: Crystals with five fold symmetry don't exist. His discovery in 1982 fueled a decade of crystal science controversy.

Now, many chemists and crystallographers agree on the importance of Shechtman's discovery. They include UMass-Dartmouth Assistant Professer David Manke who, in a recent interview, said it was "on the level of a Copernicus discover."

The Nobel Prize is an international award that recognizes exceptional accomplishments in the fields of literature, peace, physics, medicine and chemistry. It was founded by scientist and innovator Alfred Nobel. Upon his death in 1895, he left most of his estate to create the prize. Since 1901, 103 Nobel Prizes in Chemistry have been awarded. Recipients of the award receive a medal, certificate and cash prize. Most importantly, winners become Nobel Laureates, distinguished forever as top echelon scientists.

In this wiki, we will first explain basic crystal science and then discuss the practical applications of quasicrystals. We will conclude by describing Daniel Shechtman's Nobel journey.

Shechtman's Nobel Prize has important implications for undergraduate chemistry students. His story combines science with personal resolve. Your scientific career will most likely expose you to similar conflicts. Colleagues may doubt your work. But if you follow Shechtman's path, honor will come your way.

Table of Contents

Crystal Science
Applications & Implications of Quasicrystals
Quasicrystal Research Implications for Undergraduate Chemistry Students
Daniel Shechtman's Nobel Journey