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Ahmed H. Zewail

Ahmed H. ZewailAKA Ahmed Hassan Zewail

Born: 26-Feb-1946
Birthplace: Damanhur, Egypt
Died: 2-Aug-2016
Location of death: Pasadena, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Muslim
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Femtochemistry

Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed H. Zewail developed a new way of using ultra-short pulsing laser flashes to observe and isolate chemical reactions down to the femtosecond (one quadrillionth of a second). His pioneering methodology, called femtochemistry, has revealed previously unknown aspects of the transition states of chemical reactions, and brought Zewail the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1999. He has also studied 4D electron microscopy.

Father: Hassan Zewail (d. 22-Oct-1992)
Wife: Dema Faham (physician, m. 1989, two daughters, two sons)
Daughter: Maha
Daughter: Amani
Son: Nabeel
Son: Hani

    University: BS Chemistry, Alexandria University (1967)
    University: MS Chemistry, Alexandria University (1969)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania (1974)
    Fellow: University of California at Berkeley (1974-76)
    Teacher: Chemistry, California Institute of Technology (1976-78)
    Professor: Chemistry, California Institute of Technology (1976-90)
    Professor: Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology (1990-)
    Administrator: Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science & Technology, Cal Tech (2005-)

    ACS Buck-Whitney Medal 1985
    Guggenheim Fellowship 1987
    ACS Harrison Howe Award 1989
    King Faisal International Prize in Science 1989
    APS Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy 1993
    Wolf Prize in Chemistry 1993
    APS Herbert P. Broida Prize 1995
    Egyptian Order of Merit 1995
    ACS John Gamble Kirkwood Medal 1996
    Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry 1996
    ACS Linus Pauling Medal 1997
    Welch Award in Chemistry 1997
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 1998 (Franklin Institute)
    E. O. Lawrence Award 1998
    ACS Richard Tolman Medal 1998
    ACS William H. Nichols Medal 1998
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1999
    Order of the Grand Collar of the Nile 1999
    Lebanon Order of Cedar 2000
    UAE Order of Zayed 2000
    ACS Gennady Michael Kosolapoff Award 2002
    WCC Albert Einstein World Award of Science 2006
    CHF Othmer Gold Medal 2009
    Priestley Medal 2011
    Royal Dutch Shell Undergraduate Trainee (1966)
    Academy of Achievement 2000
    Academy of Sciences for the Developing World 1989
    African Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2002
    Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 1978-82
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1993
    American Association for the Advancement of Science 2000
    American Chemical Society 2010
    American Philosophical Society 1998
    American Physical Society 1982
    Chinese Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2009
    European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities 1994
    French Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2005
    Indian Chemical Society Foreign Member, 2001
    Indian National Science Academy Foreign Member, 2002
    Korean Academy of Science and Technology Foreign Member, 2002
    National Academy of Sciences 1989
    National Science Foundation Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, 1996-2007
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences 2000
    Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters Foreign Member, 2000
    Royal Society Foreign Member, 2001
    Royal Society of Chemistry Foreign Member, 2003
    Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2003
    Russian Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 2003
    Science Debate 2008
    Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society 1992
    Egyptian Ancestry
    Naturalized US Citizen 1982

Official Website:

Author of books:
Femtochemistry: Ultrafast Dynamics of the Chemical Bond (1994, two volumes)
Physical Biology: From Atoms to Medicine (2008)
4D Electron Microscopy: Imaging in Space and Time (2009, with John M. Thomas)
Voyage through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize (2002, memoir)

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