Middle-East Ahmed Hassan Zewail

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Ahmed Hassan Zewail (Chemist)
Damanhour, Egypt (1946 – 2016)
 He was known as the Father of femtochemistry (studies of chemical
reactions on extremely short timescales)
 He was the first Egyptian scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in
1999.
 Ahmed Zewail’s main work was as a pioneer and a leader on
femtochemistry – an area of physical chemistry that studies the chemical
reactions that occur in just a matter of femtoseconds. The timescale of
femtoseconds are incredibly small – one femtosecond is a millionth of a
billionth of a second.
 Using a rapid technique of ultrafast lasers (which consisted of ultrashort
laser pulses), he realized that it was possible for chemical reactions to be
mapped in detail and a study of bond rupture and bond formation at a
fundamental level could then be made.
 Aside from studying within the domains of redistributions of vibrational
energy. He also studied on the time lapse of the molecules going under
different rational motion and chemical processes
 In 1991, Zewail designed the four-dimensional (4D) ultrafast electron
microscope to help understand the complexity and nature of physical,
chemical and biological transformations. His book ‘The 4D Visualization of
Matter’ was published in 2014.
 Over his lifetime Zewail published over 600 papers and 14 books, including
“The Chemical Bond: Structure and Dynamics” in 1992 and “Physical
Biology: From Atoms to Medicine” in 2008.
 In 1999, Ahmed Zewail received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He was the
third Egyptian national to receive the Nobel Prize, but he was the first of his
nationality to ever receive the prestigious award within the field of science.
 His works were renowned and received multiple recognitions, and through
his achievements, he received the Grand Collar of the Nile, which is Egypt’s
highest honor.
 Zewail was selected as a member of the American PCAST or the Presidential
Council of Advisors in Science and Technology from 2009 to 2013. This is an
advisory group of America’s pioneering and leading engineers and scientists
who give advice to the President and Vice President and put together
guidelines in the areas of science, technology, and invention or innovation.
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