Zewail, Ahmed H.


Pioneer in femtochemistry, 1999 Nobel chemistry laureate


Autograph ID: 1982
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1946-2016) Egyptian-born American scientist, recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry, 1st Egyptian and 1st Arab to win a Nobel in science. Awarded a faculty appointment at Caltech 1976, where he has remained until his death. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1982, and in 1990 was made the 1st Linus Pauling Chair in Chemical Physics and Director of the NSF Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (LMS) at Cal Tech. His key work has been as the pioneer of femtochemistry, 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, making it possible to observe the movement of the individual atoms in a millionth of a billionth of a second, short enough to analyze transition states in selected chemical reactions. In 1999, Zewail became the 3rd ethnic Egyptian to receive the Nobel Prize, following Anwar Sadat and Naguib Mahfouz. Other international awards include the 1993 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the 1997 Robert A. Welch Award, and, in 1999, Egypt’s highest state honor, the Grand Collar of the Nile. Cambridge University awarded him a 2006 Honorary Doctorate in Science. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and the same year, he was named the 1st US Science Envoy to the Middle East. During the February 2011 Egyptian anti-Mubarak protests, he returned to Egypt to join a committee for constitutional reform. Zewail was later mentioned as a respected figure working as an intermediary between the military regime ruling after Mubarak’s resignation, and revolutionary youth groups such as the April 6 Youth Movement, the Mohamed ElBaradei Youth, and young supporters of Muslim Brotherhood.

TLS “Ahmed” on 11 x 8 ½ California Institute of Technology letterhead as Professor of Chemical Physics, Pasadena, July 8 1988, to the Asst. Managing Editor, Chemical & Engineering News. Prof. Zemail agrees to work on an article, will take manuscript and referees comments with him on travel, magazine will start on art work, he and another writer will finish article as soon as possible after August.”

Type: Letter

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