Shechtman, Dan

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SHECHTMAN, DAN (1941– ), Israeli materials scientist and crystallographer. He was born in Tel Aviv and graduated from the Technion, Haifa, where he received his B.Sc. in mechanical engineering (1966), M.Sc. (1968), and Ph.D. in materials engineering (1972). After obtaining his Ph.D. he was an NRC fellow at the Aerospace Research Laboratories, Ohio, where he studied the microstructure and physical metallurgy of titanium aluminides. In 1975 he joined the Department of Material Engineering at the Technion, where he became a distinguished professor. In the years 1981–83, he spent a sabbatical at the Johns Hopkins University and nbs where, while studying rapidly solidified aluminum transition metal alloys, he made the discovery of the Icosahedral Phase, which had a profound influence on the course of materials and crystallography research and opened the new field of quasiperiodic crystals. The unexpected paradigm-breaking discovery which initially startled the scientific community has become an established one and is known as the science of quasi-crystals. Following the discovery, the International Union of Crystal-lography adopted a new definition of a crystal. Shechtman's discovery of the quasi-periodic crystals has revolutionized several sciences and brought the quasiperiodic atomic order to the forefront of physics, chemistry, crystallography, and material sciences, and opened new avenues for novel practical use. Shechtman was elected to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1996, to the American National Academy of Engineering in 2000, and to the European Academy of Sciences in 2004. He is a recipient of many prizes and awards, including the Israel Prize in physics (1998), Wolf Prize in physics (1999), the Gregori Aminoff Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2000), and the emet Prize in chemistry (2002).

Shechtman was very actively involved in science education in the school system in Israel.

[Bracha Rager (2nd ed.)]