QMT News: February 2012
Nobel prizewinner to speak at European Microscopy Conference
Professor Daniel Shechtman has been confirmed as a Plenary Speaker at the 15th European Microscopy Congress (emc2012) in Manchester in September 2012.

Professor Shechtman was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of “quasicrystals” which showed that the atoms in a crystal could be packed in an unrepeatable pattern. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that the discovery in 1982 was initially “extremely controversial,” but that it had “fundamentally changed the way chemists look at solid matter”.

On hearing of the award, Professor Shechtman was quick to acknowledge the contribution that microscopy had made to his work. He said, “The quasicrystals would have been discovered in the future. But, without the electron microscope it is virtually impossible, because the quasicrystals are so very small."

Dr Debbie Stokes, the emc2012 conference chair, said, “Amid the excitement of the Nobel Prize announcement, Professor Shechtman still found time to accept our invitation. He is going to have an exceptionally busy year, so we are delighted and honoured that he has chosen to speak at our event and highlight the importance of microscopy at the frontiers of scientific research”

Professor Shechtman becomes the seventh confirmed Plenary Speaker alongside Dr Christian Colliex, Professor Peter Dobson, Professor Andreas Engel, Professor Scott Fraser, Professor Jeff Lichtman, and Professor Tony Wilson.

Dr John Hutchison, a vice chair of the conference, said, “Dan is a superb example of a scientist whose findings were initially disputed and scorned as being simply bad science. His discovery of quasicrystals completely upset conventional crystallography with its permitted symmetries. Dan persisted and was finally vindicated; his work led to a renewed interest in electron microscopic studies of alloys, many of which have now been shown to contain these intriguing structures.”
The 15th European Microscopy Congress is being held at Manchester Central Convention Complex, UK on 16th – 21st September 2012. Full details are available at  www.emc2012.org
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