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April 21, 2021

Nobel win for crystal discovery

STOCKHOLM – The Nobel prize for chemistry has gone to a single researcher for his discovery of the structure of quasicrystals, BBC informs. The new structural form was previously thought to be impossible and provoked controversy. Daniel Shechtman, from the Israel Institute of Technology, will receive the entire 10m Swedish krona (£940,000) prize. The Nobel Prize in chemistry caps this year’s science awards. Dr Shechtman first created quasicrystals by rapidly cooling molten metals, such as aluminium and manganese, by squirting the mixture onto a cool surface. Under the microscope he observed that the new crystal was made up of perfectly ordered, but never repeating, units – a structure that is at odds with all other crystals that are regular and precisely repeating. Professor David Phillips, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, called quasicrystals “quite beautiful”. He added: “Quasicrystals are a fascinating aspect of chemical and material science – crystals that break all the rules of being a crystal at all.”

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