30 May 2024 11:22 AM

Farewell Ahmed Zewail

Thursday، 24 December 2015 - 12:00 AM

Born February 26, 1946, Zewail is married, and has four children.

He is an Egyptian scientist, known as the "father of femtochemistry", he won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry and became the first Egyptian scientist to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. He is the Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Physics, and the director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology [2] at the California Institute of Technology.

He was brought up in Disuq, and received his first degree from the University of Alexandria before moving to the United States to obtain his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. After some post doctorate work at the University of California, Berkeley, he was awarded a faculty appointment at Caltech in 1976, where he has remained ever since.

Zewail's key work has been as the pioneer of femtochemistry—i.e. the study of chemical reactions across femtoseconds. Using a rapid ultrafast laser technique (consisting of ultrashort laser flashes), the technique allows the description of reactions on very short time scales - short enough to analyze transition states in selected chemical reactions.
Awards and Honors

In 1999, Zewail became the third Egyptian national to receive the Nobel Prize. Zewail gave his Nobel Lecture on "Femtochemistry: Atomic-Scale Dynamics of the Chemical Bond Using Ultrafast Lasers”. His prize was following Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat (1978 in Peace), Naguib Mahfouz (1988 in Literature).

Other international awards include the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1993) awarded to him by the Wolf Foundation, the Tolman Medal (1997), the Robert A. Welch Award (1997), the Othmer Gold Medal in 2009,[23][24] the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society and Davy Medal from the Royal Society in 2011. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2001.

In 1999, he received Egypt's highest state honor, the Grand Collar of the Nile.

Zewail was awarded an honorary doctorate by Lund University in Sweden in May 2003 and is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Cambridge University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science in 2006.

In October 2006, Zewail received the Albert Einstein World Award of Science for his pioneering development of the new field femtoscience and for his seminal contributions to the revolutionary discipline of physical biology, creating new ways for better understanding the functional behavior of biological systems by directly visualizing them in the four dimensions of space and time.

In May 2008, Zewail received an honorary doctorate from Complutense University of Madrid. In February, 2009, Zewail was awarded an honorary doctorate in arts and sciences by the University of Jordan.[28] In May 2010, he received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Southwestern University. In October/2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Glasgow, UK [29] His students include scientists like Martin Gruebele. He also has won the King Faisal award in 1989. The Zewail city of science and technology is named in his honour.


Advances in Laser Spectroscopy I, ed. A. H. Zewail, SPIE, Bellingham, 1977
Advances in Laser Chemistry, ed. A. H. Zewail, Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, 1978
Photochemistry and Photobiology, Vols. 1 and 2, ed. A. H. Zewail, Harwood Academic, London, 1983
Ultrafast Phenomena VII, eds. C. B. Harris, E. P. Ippen, G. A. Mourou and A. H. Zewail, Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, 1990
The Chemical Bond: Structure and Dynamics, ed. A. H. Zewail, Academic Press, Boston, 1992
Ultrafast Phenomena VIII, eds. J.-L. Martin, A. Migus, G. A. Mourou, and A. H. Zewail, Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg, 1993
Ultrafast Phenomena IX, eds.
Age of Science (autobiography)
Femtochemistry: Ultrafast Dynamics of the Chemical Bond Vol. I, A. H. Zewail, World Scientific, 1994
Femtochemistry: Ultrafast Dynamics of the Chemical Bond Vol.II, A. H. Zewail, World Scientific, 1994
Physical Biology: From Atoms to Medicine, ed. A. H. Zewail, Imperial College Press, London, 2008
4D Electron Microscopy, ed. A. H. Zewail, Imperial College Press, London, 2009
Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry (editor)
Voyage Through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize, Ahmed H Zewail, World Scientific, 2002.
4D Visualization of Matter: Recent Collected Works of Ahmed H Zewail, Nobel Laureate, Imperial College Press, London, 2014.


He passed away on 2/8/2016 at the age of 70.



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