21 Sep

Science Tuition Presents Ahmed Zewail

Hi and welcome back to your Science Tuition. The more you read, the more knowledge you gain, and we hope we are feeding you with the appropriate and right dose of chemistry lessons.

So continuing with our topic on the famous chemists and their discoveries and contributions, in this Science Tuition lesson we are going to study about Ahmed Zewail.

Born on February 26, 1946, Ahmed was an Egyptian-American scientist. He is also referred to as the “father of femtochemistry.” He was the first Egyptian to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field. His work is deemed by many as the most prominent in femtochemistry. This particular field runs its study on the chemical reactions that are evaluated at a quick timescale. He desired to form an ultra-fast laser that could be employed together with a molecular beam.

Here are some lesser known facts about him –
Ahmed Zewail’s father was a bicycle assembler.
He completed his college education at Alexandria University and received two degrees in Chemistry before moving to the US to complete his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.
Zewail completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California – Berkley before he accepted a professorship at the California Institute of Technology in 1976.

Femtochemistry addresses the observance of chemical reactions that occur at an unprecedented rate of speed, as one femto is one quadrillionth of a second. Femtochemistry is especially useful in observing things like rates of radioactive decay in which elements have incredibly brief half lives. The supersonic laser makes it possible to observe the chemical reactions that happen at these rates of speed and Zewail created a high-speed laser that could function at the intersection of the molecular life of the subject sample.

Zewail’s help and expertise were sought by US President Barak Obama for a new initiative to bridge the West and Islamic countries. Zewail was named as one of the first three Science Envoys to travel as ambassadors to centers of science throughout the Muslim countries.

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