Skip to comments.The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 Daniel Shechtman (Israel)
Posted on 10/05/2011 2:57:44 AM PDT by AdmSmith
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2011 to
Daniel Shechtman Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
"for the discovery of quasicrystals"
A remarkable mosaic of atoms
In quasicrystals, we find the fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms: regular patterns that never repeat themselves. However, the configuration found in quasicrystals was considered impossible, and Daniel 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.
(Excerpt) Read more at nobelprize.org ...
However, the configuration found in quasicrystals was considered impossible, and Daniel Shechtman had to fight a fierce battle against established science.
*PING* to SteelYourFaith for a parallel example of "the science is settled."
Am I the only one to whom this phrase does not make sense?
Did he have to fight as hard as current scientists who are skeptical about global warming?
Nope. Sounds almost like CNN, not chemistry.
In quasicrystals, we find the fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms
Wow, for once an Israeli got a Nobel prize in science instead of a Palestinian. It’s about time.
Looks to me like many of the most firmly held theories are beginning to fray around the edges (symmetry, speed-of-light limit, and I'm sure many others I am not aware of).
So let me see if I understand this:
One guy comes up with an idea, the whole rest of the world tells him he’s wrong and that the thing he says exists doesn’t exist and can’t exist because it’s impossible, and inconsistent with everything everybody “knows.” He’s driven away from the place where he works and has to go off by himself. 27 years later the thing he said existed, and that everybody else said couldn’t possibly exist, is found in nature. Luckily for him he’s still alive when everybody else in the world wakes up and realizes he was right after all.
The moral of the story could only have been clearer if the guy’s first name were Abraham.
I thought you ladies might be interested in this thread. After you visit maybe you can then explain it to me. :-)
It’s absolutely fascinating, dear Mind-numbed Robot, thanks for the ping!
LOLOL dear MNR!!! Jeepers, I'm not a crystallographer, and have zero experience with experimentation by electron microscope!
Still, on the basis of the link you provided, it seems that conventional science has admitted the possibility of only certain symmetries in nature, topping out at six-fold symmetries. But I wonder whether there can be any x-fold symmetry, where 360 divided by x yields a positive integer. Shechtman's 10-fold symmetry would meet this test, the integer being 36. (But a 7-fold symmetry would not; the division produces a non-integer, 51.4285714.)
Just a speculation here....
Truly fascinating to me is the relevance of the Fibonnaci series and the golden ratio (tau) of mathematics to both quasicrystals and aperiodic mosaics. This tells me that fundamentally, real existing things "reduce" to mathematics. That is, the structural order of the world is, at bottom, mathematical/geometric.
Which would support the ancient idea of "God, Geometer." The etymology of the word "geometer" goes back to the ancient Greek, denoting "measurer of the Earth."
It turns out that these aperiodic quasicrystals that were assumed not to exist actually constitute valuable new materials that we now use in daily life (i.e., Teflon).
But for me, the main takeaway of the article is summed up very well in the final paragraph: "...even our greatest scientists [e.g., Linus Pauling] are not immune to getting stuck in convention. Keeping an open mind and daring to question established knowledge may in fact be a scientists most important character traits."
Amen to that!
Thank you so much, dear MNR, for the fascinating link!
Yeah, that is what I noticed, too. :-)
My take away was similar to yours - when we think we know it all, we don't. There is still much more to be revealed when we are ready for it.
Speaking of crystals ...
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dearest sister in Christ!
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