Professor Daniel Shechtman
The 2011 Nobel Chemistry Laureate Professor Daniel Shechtman delivered a lecture to an invited audience of students and academics at Heriot-Watt University on Friday 20 April, one of a series of lectures to be given at the University by Nobel laureates past and present and other international scientific leaders.
Quasi-Periodic Materials-Crystal redefined
Professor Shechtman is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. He spoke on 'Quasi-Periodic Materials-Crystal redefined', the development of crystallography since the early twentieth century and specifically the discovery of quasi-periodic crystals and the resulting re-definition of the term 'Crystal'. This has potential applications including a new tougher non-stick surfacing for pans and the ability to strengthen steel for use in surgical instruments and razor blades.
Professor Shechtman's lecture follows a visit and lecture by Nobel molecular chemist Professor Thomas A. Steitz of Yale University earlier in the month, and similar visits by four other Nobel prizewinning scientists in over the past two years.
Professor Rolf Heuer, the Director General at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is also scheduled to give a lecture at Heriot-Watt in the summer, following the postponement of a visit in March due to ill health.