Ahmed Zewail is an Egyptian scientist, who was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999 for his work on femtochemistry and he became the first Egyptian to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. He is known as the Father of femtochemistry because of his marvelous works in the area of the Physical Chemistry.
Full Name : Ahmed Hassan Zewail
Born : February 26, 1946
Birth Place : Damanhur, Egypt
Died : August 2, 2016
Death Place : Pasadena, California, United States
Nationality : Egyptian, American
Spouse : Deema Zewail (m. 1989 – 2016)
Ahmed Zewail completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Alexandria. Then he moved to the United Sates to finish his Doctorate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Together with his advisor, Charles B. Harris at the University of California, Zewail was able to complete his post-doctoral fellowship.
After his post doctorate activities and works in the University of California, Berkeley, he was granted a position as a faculty at Caltech in 1976. He was chosen and awarded with the first ever Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemical Physics. In 1982, Ahmed Zewail was vested and became a naturalized resident of the United States.
Contributions to Science:
Ahmed Zewail’s main work was a pioneer and a leader on femtochemistry. With the use of a rapid technique of ultrafast laser, it allows the chemical reactions’ descriptions on a very short span of time.
His work was based and turned out into something with the question that, how rapidly did the energy in a large molecule like the naphthalene, restructure among the entire atomic motions? They had to create an apparatus which contains a vacuum chamber for those molecules exuding from the collimated beam source at a supersonic speed. The real challenge would boil down to build an ultrafast laser to be utilized with the molecular beam.
The entire team desired to witness the different procedures from birth to death of every molecule. In this particular experiment, the anthracene molecule was isolated. Ahmed Zewail and his team identified the movements of the molecules and the importance of coherence in each phase of the molecular system. It was proven that the movement of each molecule is coherent, because if not, it wouldn’t have been observed in the first place.
The outcome of his team’s experiment showed, the importance of consistency of the molecule and its existence in the multi-faceted molecular systems. The consistency and coherence experiment result was important through the movement of the molecules.
Nobel Prize and other awards:
Zewail received a Nobel Prize in 1999 for his work in femtochemistry, by which he became third to won as an Egyptian but first in the field of Science. He also received many different awards and recognitions for his works and experiments. His accolades were awarded by renowned bodies of institutions and he received the Grand Collar of the Nile, which is Egypt’s highest honor.
Ahmed Zewail was born in Damanhur and raised in Alexandria by his parents. His father was a mechanic who assembled motorcycles and bicycles and won a spot in the government local service. His parents were happily married for 50 years. His father died on the 22 October, 1992. Zewail married to his wife Dema Faham in 1989. They had four children named Maha, Amani, Nabeel, and Hani.
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