Shechtman to speak on challenging discoveries

Tiffany Westrom

Nobel Prize laureate Dan Shechtman will give a lecture on his discovery of quasiperiodic crystals, a discovery that changed the way scientists define crystals and think about the atomic arrangement of matter.

The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

“My life was changed by Danny Shechtman, as was just about every materials scientist,” said Alex King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, last Tuesday at a news conference. “I remember coming to work and reading about the discovery of quasicrystals and thinking, ‘My God, this changes everything.’”

Shechtman is a materials science and engineering professor for the College of Engineering and a research scientist in the Ames Lab when he is not working as a professor at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

After being awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry, Shechtman began receiving requests for lectures and immediately began to speak to students and faculty in Sweden, having lectured to hundreds of people at several Swedish universities.

His lecture not only focuses on his discovery but makes a point to discuss what it was like to be challenged on his discovery, how to be successful in any career and the importance of technological innovation.

“All of my talks are aimed at students,” Shechtman said. “If you want to be successful in your career, become an expert at something.”