Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail
Born: Egypt, 1946.
Education: Bachelor of science, Alex. University, Egypt; Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail is Professor of Chemistry and of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He has been named the 1999 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for his studies of the transition states of chemical reactions using femtosecond spectroscopy.
He was also the 1998 recipient of the E. O. Lawrence Award, administrated by the Office of Science for the Department of Energy. When molecules undergo chemical reactions, their atoms shift so quickly that scientists require laser pulses lasting only a few femtoseconds (quadrillionths of a second) to obtain snapshots of the making and breaking of chemical bonds.
Zewail and his coworkers developed laser techniques for observing such interactions and used them to investigate a variety of fundamental chemical processes which would open the door for amazing useful discoveries. "Zewail pioneered ... femtosecond methods to investigate photochemical reactions," says Nicholas J. Turro of Columbia University. "His research involves brilliant technique development and experimental conception and execution."
Beside being a great scientist who lights a candle on the way to the humanity walfare and development, Dr. Zewail is paying a big deal of attention to his home land, Egypt. He established two prizes in his name. one at the high school in Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt where he went to school and the other at the American University in Egypt(AUC).
The new Ahmed Zewail prize, awarded for the first time in 2005 at AUC's commencement, is an attempt to provide an incentive for students to pursue excellence in science. Another way by which he tries to boost the development in Egypt is the article which he is currently writing for Nature magazine called "Science for the have nots," in which he tries to explain why building a solid scientific base is so important for developing nations. Finally, Dr. Zewail is one of the Arabic persons who served the humanity and added to the human walefare such as many who will be presented in our later episodes.
By Rania ElSaadawy
afroze fatima a loud applause.
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