Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry Wednesday morning for his work in the discovery of quasicrystals, according to an AP report. Shechtman is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
The award honors Schechtman's work, in 1982, in the discovery of the icosahedral phase, which opened up work into the field of quasiperiodic crystals.
His research has fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter, said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, when it announced the award Wednesday.
Quasicrystals are structural forms that are ordered but not periodic. They form patterns that fill all the space though they lack translational symmetry. The first officially reported case of what came to be known as quasicrystals was made by Shechtman and his team. Since the original discovery, hundreds of quasicrystals have been reported and confirmed.