s and Appointments
Ahmed Zewail is the Linus Pauling Chair professor of chemistry and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). For ten years, he served as the Director of the National Science Foundation's Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (LMS), and is currently the Director of the Moore Foundation's Center for Physical Biology at Caltech.Nobel World The Voyage →
On April 27, 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and in November of the same year, he was named the First United States Science Envoy to the Middle East.
A. H. Zewail. Voyage Through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize, American University in Cairo (AUC), Cairo, 2002; so far in 19 languages and editions: English, French, German, Spanish, Romanian, Hungarian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Bahasa Malaysian, Indonesian, Hindi, and Azerbaijani. For detailed reviews of this book see, for example, articles written by W. Sibbett, B. V. McKoy and C. A. McKoy, and M. Chergui.
For this journey on the road to the Nobel prize, I have been asked several times to write a biography, or at least a biographical summary of my life. I declined these invitations. I was of the opinion that a traditional biography should represent a lifetime of work and experience and much effort and time are needed to do it well. In July of 1997 while on a trip to Cairo this strong feeling softened to a more moderate one. I was stimulated to ask a few questions by two books I was reading, one titled A History of Knowledge by Charles van Doren and the other Making Waves by Charles Townes. How did I acquire knowledge? Why did I become a scientist? What are the forces that have determined the walks of my own life? What are the meanings of faith, destiny, and luck? In the attempt to answer such complex questions, I began to sketch my thoughts...
D. L. Smith. Coherent Thinking, Eng. Sci. 62, 7 (1999)Conferences and Collaborations →
At 5:40 in the doggone morning on Tuesday, October 12, Ahmed Zewail got a phone call. But it wasn't a wrong number or a particularly ambitious aluminum-window salesman—it was the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences informing him he had won the 1999 Nobel Prize in chemistry. The citation reads, in part, that Zewail "is being rewarded for his pioneering investigation of fundamental chemical reactions, using ultra-short laser flashes on the time scale on which the reactions actually occur"...
50 ans du laser dans la ville lumière, Fifty Years of the Laser in the City of Light, Palais du Louvre—École Polytechnique, Paris—Palaiseau, France, June 22-23, 2010.
Under the chairmanship of the inventor of the laser, Prof. Charles H. Townes surrounded by six Nobel Prize winners (Nicolaas Bloembergen, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, John L. Hall, Charles K. Kao, Herbert Kroemer, and Ahmed H. Zewail) and many other personalities in science, economics, technology and medicine, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the laser...
Nobelpreisträgerseminar 2009, Fourth Vienna Seminar of Nobel Laureates, Wiener Rathaus, Austria, October 8-9, 2009.
Organized by Universität Wien, Technischen Universität Wien, Universität für Bodenkultur, and the city of Vienna/Wiener Vorlesungen, the Fourth Vienna Seminar of Nobel Laureates was devoted to research in chemistry. Five Nobel Laureates (Robert Huber, Jean-Marie Lehn, Roger Tsien, Kurt Wüthrich, and Ahmed Zewail) were invited to reflect on their work and to share their views on science, innovation, and technology transfer with broader audiences...
Energy in Cosmos, Molecules and Life, Alfred Nobel Symposium, Sånga-Säby Conference Center, Sweden, June 18-22, 2005.
This unique occasion gathers the leading competence from three broad scientific areas to discuss energy issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. This Nobel Symposium is the first to include all of the natural science categories of the Nobel Prize: physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine. The purpose is to create conditions for exchange and interaction, partly between different disciplines and partly between promising young researchers and the world's leading researchers...
Frontiers of Molecular Science, Nobel Centennial Symposium, Friiberghs Manor, Örsundsbro and Stockholm University, Sweden, December 4-7, 2001.
The Nobel Foundation's Symposium program was initiated in 1965. Since that time more than a hundred symposia have taken place. The symposia are devoted to areas of science where breakthroughs are occurring or deal with other topics of primary cultural or social significance. A series of Nobel Centennial Symposia was organized in 2001 to commemorate 100th anniversary of the Nobel prizes given out for world-class accomplishments in physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine...
Molecular Frontiers, a global effort to promote the understanding and appreciation of molecular science in society.Science and Technology New Centers →
Molecular Frontiers, a world-wide virtual institute, will seek to strengthen the position of science in society—among the public, in education and among politicians—as a primary approach to describing and analyzing reality. The institute will provide a forum for exchange and analysis of scientific advances and their implications, and will employ various strategies to engage the public in an open dialogue. The institute's activities will promote scientific knowledge in general with special emphasis on the molecular perspective. As knowledge may be considered a right to all, global open access will be a guiding principle...
Zewail City of Science and Technology.
The City, with its three constituents—the University, the Research Institutes, and the Technology Pyramid—is designed to bring about effective participation in twenty-first century science, to elevate local technologies to the world level, and to increase national productivity...
Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology.Back to the Future →
At Caltech, the main mission of the newly-established Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology (UST) is to develop the science and technology for observing complex molecular structures in motion using diffraction, spectroscopy, and microscopy. Such combined atomic-scale resolutions in space and time constitute the basis for a new field of study in what we refer to as four-dimensional (4D) structural dynamics. For imaging in real time the method of choice at Caltech is 4D ultrafast electron microscopy and diffraction developed recently to provide the ability to image complex structures with the spatial resolution of electron microscopy, but with timed (femtosecond) single-electron packets. The vision is a new integrated science of structure and dynamics with the aim of deciphering the fundamental physics of chemical and biological behavior, from atoms to cells. Faculty from the fields of physics, chemistry, and biology form the core for the collaborative research at UST, the founding center of physical biology at Caltech...
A. H. Zewail. Dreaming the Future, Chem. Eng. News 89, 17 (2011).
I am honored and gratified to receive the Priestley Medal. This highest honor of the American Chemical Society comes from a society I have been associated with for decades and with which I continue to have strong relations, not only as a member and fellow, but also with its institutions, the board of directors, the society journals, and the super-dynamic Executive Director & CEO Madeleine Jacobs...
A. H. Zewail. Curiouser and Curiouser: Managing Discovery Making, Nature 468, 347 (2010).
On a recent official visit to southeast Asia, a prime minister asked me: "What does it take to get a Nobel prize?" I answered immediately: "Invest in basic research and recruit the best minds." This curiosity-driven approach seems increasingly oldfashioned and underappreciated in our modern age of science. Some believe that more can be achieved through tightly managed research—as if we can predict the future. I believe this is an unfortunate misconception that affects and infects research funding. History teaches us the value of free scientific inquisitiveness...
A. H. Zewail. The Future of Chemical Physics, Chem. Phys. 378, 1 (2010).
In over a century of developments, the discipline of chemical physics, which evolved from physical chemistry, has had a major impact on chemistry and all related molecular sciences, including biology and materials science. While physicists were working to decipher the structure of the atom—and indeed managed to tame it—chemical physicists were trailblazing into the world of molecules with new tools, some from physics, and new concepts. In retrospect the impact is monumental, considering that in 1938 the most versatile organic laboratory instrument was the thermometer...
A. H. Zewail. The New Age of Structural Dynamics, Acta Cryst. A 66, 135 (2010).
It is now possible to determine three-dimensional structures, with atomic scale resolution, in systems ranging from small molecules to crystals, and from DNA and proteins to viruses and particles. The latest is the work on the structure of the ribosome protein-making machine which was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. However, a full description of biological functions, chemical reactions or phase transitions requires real-time visualization of the actual events, i.e. the ability to follow a sequence of steps characterizing a given process...
A. H. Zewail. Perspectives on Knowledge and Humanity, in Twelve Scientists on the Twenty-First Century, eds. I. Szemenyei, I. Goldperger, A. Erdélyi, G. Staar, Tinta Publishing, Budapest, 2009, p. 117.
As far as the twenty-first century is concerned, the major issues facing the world are many, but I would rather focus on the ones that threaten our peaceful coexistence. The first is education. It is disturbing that in the knowledge-based twenty-first century there are countries with populations approaching 50% illiteracy. And women are not given the appropriate status for education and career opportunities in many countries, so the workforce is reduced in value...
A. H. Zewail. The World in 50 Years, in The Way We Will Be 50 Years from Today, ed. M. Wallace, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 2008, p. 228.
The world is an uncertain place, which is why the future and the unknown absolutely fascinate us. Veteran television journalist Mike Wallace asked the question "What will life be like 50 years from now?" to sixty of the world's greatest minds. Their responses offer a fascinating glimpse into the cultural, scientific, political, and spiritual moods of the times...
A. H. Zewail. Science and Technology in the Twenty-First Century, Academy of Sciences of Malaysia (ASM) Public Lecture, ASM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 14, 2002.Selected Articles and Books →
Since the beginning of human civilization, science and technology has progressed in a continuous process. Fire must have been an exciting new technology for the first humans and to this day we are continuing research to fully answer the question, what is fire? But the search for new knowledge is based on rational thinking, which is fundamental for progress and for making new discoveries...
A. H. Zewail and J. M. Thomas. 4D Electron Microscopy: Imaging in Space and Time, Imperial College Press, London (2010).
A. H. Zewail. Micrographia of the Twenty-First Century: From Camera Obscura to 4D Microscopy, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 368, 1191 (2010).
A. H. Zewail. 4D Electron Microscopy, Science 328, 187 (2010).
A. H. Zewail. Filming the Invisible in 4D: New Microscopy Makes Movies of Nanoscale Objects in Action, Sci. Am. 303, 74 (2010).
A. H. Zewail. The New Age of Structural Dynamics, Acta Cryst. A 66, 135 (2010).
M. M. Lin and A. H. Zewail. Protein Folding: Simplicity in Complexity, Ann. Phys. 524, 379 (2012).
A. Yurtsever, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Entangled Nanoparticles: Discovery by Visualization in 4D Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 12, 5027 (2012).
S. T. Park and A. H. Zewail. Relativistic Effects in Photon-Induced Near Field Electron Microscopy, J. Phys. Chem. A 116, 11128 (2012).
D. J. Flannigan and A. H. Zewail. 4D Electron Microscopy: Principles and Applications, Acc. Chem. Res. 45, 1828 (2012).
M. M. Lin and A. H. Zewail. Hydrophobic Forces and the Length Limit of Foldable Protein Domains, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 9851 (2012).
A. Yurtsever, S. Schäfer and A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Kikuchi Diffraction: Nanoscale Stress-Strain Dynamics of Wave-Guiding Structures, Nano Lett. 12, 3772 (2012).
A. Yurtsever and A. H. Zewail. Direct Visualization of Near-Fields in Nanoplasmonics and Nanophotonics, Nano Lett. 12, 3334 (2012).
W. Liang, S. Schäfer and A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Electron Crystallography of Heterogeneous Structures: Gold-Graphene Bilayer and Ligand-Encapsulated Nanogold on Graphene, Chem. Phys. Lett. 542, 8 (2012).
W. Liang, S. Schäfer and A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Electron Crystallography of Monolayer Adsorbates on Clean Surfaces: Structural Dynamics, Chem. Phys. Lett. 542, 1 (2012).
S. T. Park, D. J. Flannigan and A. H. Zewail. 4D Electron Microscopy Visualization of Anisotropic Atomic Motions in Carbon Nanotubes, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 9146 (2012).
S. T. Park, O.-H. Kwon and A. H. Zewail. Chirped Imaging Pulses in Four-Dimensional Electron Microscopy: Femtosecond Pulsed Hole Burning, New J. Phys. 14, 053046 (2012).
A. Yurtsever, R. M. van der Veen and A. H. Zewail. Subparticle Ultrafast Spectrum Imaging in 4D Electron Microscopy, Science 335, 59 (2012).
S. T. Park and A. H. Zewail. Enhancing Image Contrast and Slicing Electron Pulses in 4D Near-Field Electron Microscopy, Chem. Phys. Lett. 521, 1 (2012).
S. Schäfer, W. Liang and A. H. Zewail. Structural Dynamics of Surfaces by Ultrafast Electron Crystallography: Experimental and Multiple Scattering Theory, J. Chem. Phys. 135, 214201 (2011).
S. Schäfer, W. Liang and A. H. Zewail. Structural Dynamics of Nanoscale Gold by Ultrafast Electron Crystallography, Chem. Phys. Lett. 515, 278 (2011).
M. M. Lin, O. F. Mohammed, G. S. Jas and A. H. Zewail. Speed Limit of Protein Folding Evidenced in Secondary Structure, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 16622 (2011).
I-R. Lee, A. Gahlmann and A. H. Zewail. Structural Dynamics of Free Amino Acids in Diffraction., Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 51, 99 (2012).
M. M. Lin, D. Shorokhov and A. H. Zewail. Structural Dynamics of Free Proteins in Diffraction, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 17072 (2011).
D. Zhong, S. K. Pal and A. H. Zewail. Biological Water: A Critique, Chem. Phys. Lett. 503, 1 (2011).
V. Ortalan and A. H. Zewail. 4D Scanning Transmission Ultrafast Electron Microscopy: Single-Particle Imaging and Spectroscopy, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 10732 (2011).
O. F. Mohammed, D.-S. Yang, S. K. Pal and A. H. Zewail. 4D Scanning Ultrafast Electron Microscopy: Visualization of Materials Surface Dynamics, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 7708 (2011).
S. Schäfer, W. Liang and A. H. Zewail. Primary Structural Dynamics in Graphite, New J. Phys. 13, 063030 (2011).
J. S. Baskin, H. S. Park and A. H. Zewail. Nanomusical Systems Visualized and Controlled in 4D Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 11, 2183 (2011).
O.-H. Kwon, V. Ortalan and A. H. Zewail. Macromolecular Structural Dynamics Visualized by Pulsed Dose Control in 4D Electron Microscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 6026 (2011).
S. T. Park, D. J. Flannigan and A. H. Zewail. Irreversible Chemical Reactions Visualized in Space and Time with 4D Electron Microscopy, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 1730 (2011).
A. Yurtsever and A. H. Zewail. Kikuchi Ultrafast Nanodiffraction in Four-Dimensional Electron Microscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 3152 (2011).
S. T. Park, M. M. Lin and A. H. Zewail. Photon-Induced Near-Field Electron Microscopy (PINEM): Theoretical and Experimental, New J. Phys. 12, 123028 (2010).
D. J. Flannigan, S. T. Park and A. H. Zewail. Nanofriction Visualized in Space and Time by 4D Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 10, 4767 (2010).
H. S. Park, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. 4D Lorentz Electron Microscopy Imaging: Magnetic Domain Wall Nucleation, Reversal, and Wave Velocity, Nano Lett. 10, 3796 (2010).
O.-H. Kwon, T. H. Yoo, C. M. Othon, J. A. Van Deventer, D. A. Tirrell and A. H. Zewail. Hydration Dynamics at Fluorinated Protein Surfaces, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 17101 (2010).
D.-S. Yang, O. F. Mohammed and A. H. Zewail. Scanning Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 14993 (2010).
A. Gahlmann, I-R. Lee and A. H. Zewail. Direct Structural Determination of Conformations of Photoswitchable Molecules by Laser Desorption — Electron Diffraction, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 49, 6524 (2010).
O.-H. Kwon, H. S. Park, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Nonchaotic Nonlinear Motion Visualized in Complex Nanostructures by Stereographic 4D Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 10, 3190 (2010).
O.-H. Kwon and A. H. Zewail. 4D Electron Tomography, Science 328, 1668 (2010).
D. J. Flannigan, B. Barwick and A. H. Zewail. Biological Imaging with 4D Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107, 9933 (2010).
S. Schäfer, W. Liang and A. H. Zewail. Structural Dynamics and Transient Electric-Field Effects in Ultrafast Electron Diffraction from Surfaces, Chem. Phys. Lett. 493, 11 (2010).
D. J. Flannigan and A. H. Zewail. Optomechanical and Crystallization Phenomena Visualized with 4D Electron Microscopy: Interfacial Carbon Nanotubes on Silicon Nitride, Nano Lett. 10, 1892 (2010).
F. Carbone, N. Gedik, J. Lorenzana and A. H. Zewail. Real-Time Observation of Cuprates Structural Dynamics by Ultrafast Electron Crystallography, Adv. Cond. Mat. Phys. 2010, 958618 (2010).
P. Baum and A. H. Zewail. 4D Attosecond Imaging with Free Electrons: Diffraction Methods and Potential Applications, Chem. Phys. 366, 2 (2009).
D. Shorokhov and A. H. Zewail. New Light on Molecular and Materials Complexity: 4D Electron Imaging, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 17998 (2009).
B. Barwick, D. J. Flannigan and A. H. Zewail. Photon-Induced Near-Field Electron Microscopy, Nature 462, 902 (2009).
A. Yurtsever and A. H. Zewail. 4D Nanoscale Diffraction Observed by Convergent-Beam Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, Science 326, 708 (2009).
H. S. Park, O.-H. Kwon, J. S. Baskin, B. Barwick and A. H. Zewail. Direct Observation of Martensitic Phase-Transformation Dynamics in Iron by 4D Single-Pulse Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 9, 3954 (2009).
O. F. Mohammed, P. C. Samartzis and A. H. Zewail. Heating and Cooling Dynamics of Carbon Nanotubes Observed by Temperature-Jump Spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 16010 (2009).
M. M. Lin, D. Shorokhov and A. H. Zewail. Structural Ultrafast Dynamics of Macromolecules: Diffraction of Free DNA and Effect of Hydration, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 11, 10619 (2009).
S. A. Hilbert, C. Uiterwaal, B. Barwick, H. Batelaan and A. H. Zewail. Temporal Lenses for Attosecond and Femtosecond Electron Pulses, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 10558 (2009).
F. Carbone, O.-H. Kwon and A. H. Zewail. Dynamics of Chemical Bonding Mapped by Energy-Resolved 4D Electron Microscopy, Science 325, 181 (2009).
O. F. Mohammed, G. S. Jas, M. M. Lin and A. H. Zewail. Primary Peptide Folding Dynamics Observed with Ultrafast Temperature Jump, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 48, 5628 (2009).
D. J. Flannigan, P. C. Samartzis, A. Yurtsever and A. H. Zewail. Nanomechanical Motions of Cantilevers: Direct Imaging in Real Space and Time with 4D Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 9, 875 (2009).
Physical Biology: From Atoms to Medicine, ed. A. H. Zewail, Imperial College Press, London (2008).
O.-H. Kwon, B. Barwick, H. S. Park, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Nanoscale Mechanical Drumming Visualized by 4D Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 8, 3557 (2008).
B. Barwick, H. S. Park, O.-H. Kwon, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. 4D Imaging of Transient Structures and Morphologies in Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, Science 322, 1227 (2008).
D.-S. Yang, C. Lao and A. H. Zewail. 4D Electron Diffraction Reveals Correlated Unidirectional Behavior in Zinc Oxide Nanowires, Science 321, 1660 (2008).
O.-H. Kwon, B. Barwick, H. S. Park, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. 4D Visualization of Embryonic, Structural Crystallization by Single-Pulse Microscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 8519 (2008).
M. M. Lin, L. Meinhold, D. Shorokhov and A. H. Zewail. Unfolding and Melting of DNA (RNA) Hairpins: The Concept of Structure-Specific 2D Dynamic Landscapes, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 10, 4227 (2008).
F. Carbone, P. Baum, P. Rudolf and A. H. Zewail. Structural Preablation Dynamics of Graphite Observed by Ultrafast Electron Crystallography, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100, 035501 (2008).
H. Ma, C. Wan, A. Wu and A. H. Zewail. DNA Folding and Melting in Real Time: Observed Collapsed Structures Redefine the Energy Landscape, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 712 (2007).
O.-H. Kwon and A. H. Zewail. Double Proton Transfer Dynamics of Model DNA Base Pairs in the Condensed Phase, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 8703 (2007).
J. Tang, D.-S. Yang and A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Electron Crystallography. 3. Theoretical Modeling of Structural Dynamics, J. Phys. Chem. C 111, 8957 (2007).
H. S. Park, J. S. Baskin, O.-H. Kwon and A. H. Zewail. Atomic-Scale Imaging in Real and Energy Space Developed in Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, Nano Lett. 7, 2545 (2007).
N. Gedik, D.-S. Yang, G. Logvenov, I. Bozovic and A. H. Zewail. Nonequilibrium Phase Transitions in Cuprates Observed by Ultrafast Electron Crystallography, Science 316, 425 (2007).
P. Baum, D.-S. Yang and A. H. Zewail. 4D Visualization of Transitional Structures in Phase Transformations by Electron Diffraction, Science 318, 788 (2007).
A. H. Zewail. 4D Ultrafast Electron Diffraction, Crystallography, and Microscopy, Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 57, 65 (2006).
J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Oriented Ensembles in Ultrafast Electron Diffraction, Chem. Phys. Chem. 7, 1562 (2006).
M. S. Grinolds, V. A. Lobastov, J. Weissenrieder and A. H. Zewail. Four-Dimensional Ultrafast Electron Microscopy of Phase Transitions, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 18427 (2006).
V. A. Lobastov, R. Srinivasan and A. H. Zewail. Four-Dimensional Ultrafast Electron Microscopy, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102, 7069 (2005).
R. Srinivasan, J. S. Feenstra, S. T. Park, S. Xu and A. H. Zewail. Dark Structures in Molecular Radiationless Transitions Determined by Ultrafast Diffraction, Science 307, 558 (2005).
D. H. Paik, I-R. Lee, D.-S. Yang, J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Electrons in Finite-Sized Water Cavities: Hydration Dynamics Observed in Real Time, Science 306, 672 (2004).
C.-Y. Ruan, V. A. Lobastov, F. Vigliotti, S. Chen and A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Electron Crystallography of Interfacial Water, Science 304, 80 (2004).
H. Ihee, V. A. Lobastov, U. M. Gomez, B. M. Goodson, R. Srinivasan, C.-Y. Ruan and A. H. Zewail. Direct Imaging of Transient Molecular Structures with Ultrafast Diffraction, Science 291, 458 (2001). Latest Press Releases →
Caltech Nobel Laureate Named One of the Top Leaders in America, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, November 29, 2011.
Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been named one of the Top American Leaders of 2011 by The Washington Post and Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership. Six other people, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, were chosen to receive the distinction, which recognizes "outstanding leadership" in any area of interest. "Ahmed's exceptional achievements as pioneering scientist, an extraordinary professor, and a regarded statesman of the world make him an ideal candidate to receive this honor," says Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau...
Zewail Honored with the Royal Society's Davy Medal, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, July 28, 2011.
Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail, Pauling Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics, has received the Royal Society's Davy Medal "for his seminal contributions to the study of ultrafast reactions and the understanding of transition states in chemistry, and to dynamic electron microscopy." First awarded in 1877, the medal is named after the 19th-century British chemist and inventor Sir Humphry Davy, who was a Fellow of the Royal Society and became its president in 1820...
American Chemical Society's Highest Honor Goes to Pioneer in Ultrafast Imaging, American Chemical Society, Anaheim CA, March 29, 2011.
Ahmed H. Zewail, Ph.D., 1999 Chemistry Nobel Laureate and Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, today will receive the 2011 Priestley Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The award will be presented at a banquet ceremony in the Anaheim Marriott Hotel during the ACS' 241st National Meeting and Exposition. More than 13,000 scientists and others are expected for the week-long event, which includes 9,500 reports on new advances in science, and is one of the largest scientific conferences of the year....
Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail to be Caltech Commencement Speaker, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, March 27, 2011.
Renowned chemist and Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), will be the speaker for Caltech's 117th annual commencement ceremony, which will take place at 10 a.m. on June 10 of this year. "Professor Zewail is an esteemed scientist and statesman," says Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau. "Our graduates will benefit greatly from his wisdom as they prepare to enter a world where scientists and engineers are increasingly called upon to provide leadership throughout the civic arena..."
Caltech Scientists Film Photons with Electrons, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, December 16, 2009.
Techniques recently invented by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) which allow the real-time, real-space visualization of fleeting changes in the structure of nanoscale matter have been used to image the evanescent electrical fields produced by the interaction of electrons and photons, and to track changes in atomic-scale structures. Papers describing the novel technologies appear in the December 17 issue of Nature and the October 30 issue of Science. Four-dimensional (4D) microscopy — the methodology upon which the new techniques were based — was developed at Caltech's Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology...
Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail Named United States Science Envoy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, November 13, 2009.
Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been named an envoy in the new U.S. Science Envoy Program, created to foster science and technology collaborations between the United States and nations throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Zewail, who was also appointed to President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology earlier this year, is one of three eminent Americans who will serve as the first scientist-diplomats in the new program...
President Obama names Ahmed Zewail of Caltech to Science and Tech Council, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, April 27, 2009.
President Barack Obama named Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail of Caltech to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Zewail, 63, of San Marino, is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry and a physics professor at Caltech. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999 for his pioneering work in femtoscience, which makes it possible to observe atoms in motion. Zewail will maintain his current duties at Caltech, according to the school. His new responsibilities involve joining scientists, educators and other experts in meeting with Obama every other month. The council is tasked with advising the president on matters of education, energy, health, climate change, environment, security and the economy...
Caltech 4D Microscope Revolutionizes the Way We Look at the Nano World, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, November 20, 2008.
More than a century ago, the development of the earliest motion picture technology made what had been previously thought "magical" a reality: capturing and recreating the movement and dynamism of the world around us. A breakthrough technology based on new concepts has now accomplished a similar feat, but on an atomic scale—by allowing, for the first time, the real-time, real-space visualization of fleeting changes in the structure and shape of matter barely a billionth of a meter in size. Such "movies" of atomic changes in materials of gold and graphite, obtained using the technique, are featured in a paper appearing in the November 21 issue of the journal Science. 4D microscopy videos can be viewed at the UST web site...
Zewail Honored with Einstein Award, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, September 21, 2006.
The World Cultural Council will present the 2006 Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Physics and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology. This recognition is for his "pioneering development of the new field of femtoscience and for his seminal contributions to the revolutionary discipline of physical biology, creating new ways for better understanding the functional behavior of biological systems by directly visualizing them in the four dimensions of space and time," according to the World Cultural Council's announcement...
Nobel Laureate Receives $17.5 Million Grant to Create the New Field of Physical Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA, August 10, 2005.
Nobel Prize-winning chemist and physicist Ahmed Zewail has received an $17.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to create the Ultrafast Science and Technology (UST) Center at the California Institute of Technology. The center will focus on a new scientific discipline at Caltech for which Zewail has coined the name physical biology. The field will create new ways of understanding the dynamical behavior of biological systems by directly observing them in the four dimensions of space and time...
Other press releases. Education Public Lectures and Discourse →
Professor Ahmed Zewail has presented over three hundred named, plenary, and keynote lectures, including: Andersen (Hans Christian), Bernstein (UCLA, Wisconsin), Berson, Bodenstein, Cavendish (Scott Series), Celsius, Condon, Aimé Cotton, Coulson, Debye, Einstein (Berlin, New Delhi, Mexico), Eyring, Faraday, Franklin (Benjamin), Gandhi, Helmholtz, Hinshelwood, Karrer, Kirkwood, Kistiakowsky, Lawrence, Lewis (G. N.), London, Nobel, Novartis, Noyes, Onassis, Oppenheimer, Ørsted, Othmer, Pascal (Blaise), Pauling, Perrin, Pimentel, Planck, Polanyi, Priestley, Raman, Roberts, Röntgen, Schrödinger, Solvay, U Thant (United Nations), Thomson (J. J.), Tolman, Watson, Welch, Wilson, and Zewail.
A. H. Zewail. Franklin's Vision, Speech at the Annual General Meeting of the American Philosophical Society in celebration of the Franklin Tercentenary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 27, 2006.
On this special occasion of the Tercentenary, I am especially delighted to speak in honor of a polymath and an American icon, Benjamin Franklin. Since his death in 1790, Franklin has been revered, memorialized, and made into an educational, financial, and political icon. Through his collective work this sage has climbed to the apex of human endeavor in the sciences, public service, and statesmanship in international relations. Such great heights for a man of wit and wisdom are reached by very few in the world, both then and now...
A. H. Zewail. Light and Life, Ninth Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Lecture, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, Bangalore, India, October 17, 2002.
Scientific research is the subject of this lecture, but I wish to focus here on one of its pillars—the value of curiosity-driven research and its impact on our life, the life of the "haves" and "have-nots". For this scientific endeavour, I will demonstrate my point from the study of one phenomenon that has occupied the thinking of humans throughout history—it is the phenomenon of light. What is light?
A. H. Zewail. Time's Mysteries and Miracles: Consonance with Physical and Life Sciences, Albert Einstein Public Lecture, IIT, New Delhi, India, October 22, 2002.
Ever since the dawn of history, humans have been the benefactors of time's miracles, but at the same time they have been baffled by time's mysteries. More than six millennia ago, the philosophy and measurement of time occupied the minds of scholars in the land of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and, even today we struggle with the meaning of time. In this overview, I present some concepts and techniques developed in the science and technology of time, and an exposé of some of the mysteries and miracles that are in harmony with physical and life sciences...
A. H. Zewail. It is Possible, One Hundred Reasons to be a Scientist, 2nd ed., ICTP, Trieste, 2005, p. 260.Dissemination of Knowledge →
On the banks of the Nile, the Rosetta branch, I was born in Damanhur, the "City of Horus", only 60 km from Alexandria. In retrospect, it is remarkable that my childhood origins were flanked by two great places—Rosetta, the city where the famous Stone was discovered, and Alexandria, the home of ancient learning...
A. H. Zewail. Filming the Invisible in 4D, Sci. Am. 303, 74 (2010).
Picture this: a movie revealing the inner workings of a cell or showing a nanomachine in action. A new microscopy is making such imaging possible. Four-dimensional electron microscopy produces "movies" of nanoscale processes occurring over time intervals as short as femtoseconds (10-15 second). The technique builds up each frame of the movie from thousands of individual shots taken at precisely defined times. It has applications in a wide range of fields, including materials science, nanotechnology and medicine...
A. H. Zewail. Micrographia of the Twenty-First Century: From Camera Obscura to 4D Microscopy, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 368, 1191 (2010).
In this paper, the evolutionary and revolutionary developments of microscopic imaging are overviewed with a perspective on origins. From Alhazen's camera obscura, to Hooke and van Leeuwenhoek's two-dimensional optical micrography, and on to three- and four-dimensional (4D) electron microscopy, these developments over a millennium have transformed humans' scope of visualization. The changes in the length and time scales involved are unimaginable, beginning with the visible shadows of candles at the centimetre and second scales, and ending with invisible atoms with space and time dimensions of sub-nanometre and femtosecond...
G. K. Drayna and D. J. Flannigan; Mentor: A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Electron Microscopy: Watching Atoms Move and Crystals Melt, Caltech Undergrad. Res. J. 8, 36 (2008).
For decades, researchers have relied on static images provided by electron microscopy and static diffraction patterns provided by X-ray crystallography to infer how a system operates. The major drawback to these otherwise very powerful techniques is that no direct experimental evidence is gathered about the structure of the transition states of the system. That is, these techniques can only provide information about the three spatial dimensions; while information about how the system behaves in the fourth dimension—time—remains a mystery. Therefore, to overcome this fundamental problem, a methodology that can access all four dimensions simultaneously must be realized and demonstrated. The development of such a technology would mark a great day in the advancement of human knowledge. Fortunately, that day has arrived with the advent of Ultrafast Electron Microscopy (UEM)...
J. S Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Freezing Atoms in Motion, J. Chem. Educ. 78, 737 (2001).
The concept of the atom, proposed 24 centuries ago and rejected by Aristotle, was born on a purely philosophical basis, surely without anticipating some of the 20th century's most triumphant scientific discoveries. Atoms can now be seen, observed in motion, and manipulated...
J. S. Baskin and A. H. Zewail. Freezing Time—In a Femtosecond, Sci. Spectra 14, 62 (1998).
With ultrashort pulses of laser light, it has become possible to observe physical, chemical and biological changes with a resolution of femtoseconds, 15 orders of magnitude faster than the human heart beat, reaching the scale of atomic motion, spatial and temporal...
A. H. Zewail. The Birth of Molecules, Sci. Am. 263, 76 (1990).
In 1872 railroad magnate Leland Stanford wagered $25,000 that a galloping horse, at some point in stride, lifts all four hooves off the ground. To prove it, Stanford employed English photographer Eadweard Muybridge. After many attempts, Muybridge developed a camera shutter that opened and closed for only two thousandths of a second, enabling him to capture on film a horse flying through the air. During the past century, all scientific disciplines from astrophysics to zoology have exploited high-speed photography to revolutionize understanding of animal and mechanical motions that are quicker than the eye can follow...
M. Gruebele and A. H. Zewail. Ultrafast Reaction Dynamics, Phys. Today 43, 24 (1990).
With new laser techniques and with gas phase and molecular beam experiments, it is now possible to determine the ultrafast motion in isolated chemical reactions: chemistry on the 10-13-second time scale...
A. H. Zewail. Laser Selective Chemistry: Is It Possible?, Phys. Today 33, 27 (1980).World Affairs Selected Commentaries →
With sufficiently brief and intense radiation, properly tuned to specific resonances, we may be able to fulfill a chemist's dream, to break particular selected bonds in large molecules...
A. H. Zewail. Egypt's New Year Resolution New York Times, January 3, 2013 (reproduced under the title Islam Is Not the Problem in Egypt in Christian Science Monitor January 4, 2013).
Egypt is in turmoil, and many so-called experts have concluded that religion is the cause. It is not. The source of turmoil is the gap between expectations of speedy change by those who made the people's revolution two years ago and the slow process of building an entirely new society...
A. H. Zewail. Syria: Is the World Waiting for Genocide? Huffington Post, November 28, 2012.
From Nazi Germany to Rwanda, some of the most inhumane atrocities and genocides were committed while the rest of the world was watching. Today we are all witnessing atrocities and mass destruction in Syria. Again we are observing it all unfold before our eyes, with heavy hearts perhaps, but no effective intervention to stop it...
A. H. Zewail. How curiosity begat Curiosity, Los Angeles Times, August 19, 2012 (reproduced under the titles Curiosity: America's Endangered Triumph and Will America Kill the Curiosity that Sent the Rover to Mars? in Huffington Post August 19, 2012 and Christian Science Monitor August 20, 2012, respectively).
On Sunday August 5, 2012, I was among a group of people who witnessed the Rover landing on Mars in real time at NASA's Caltech-managed Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The excitement of this historic moment was overwhelming as we saw the one-ton, car-like Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) breakthrough the red plant's atmosphere and slow its speed from 13,000 mph to zero. One glimpse of those first images from over 100 million miles away demonstrates America's leadership in innovation...
A. H. Zewail. Egypt's March toward Democracy, New York Times/International Herald Tribune, May 20-21, 2012 (reproduced in Huffington Post May 21, 2012 and published under the title Egyptians Are Still Marching forward toward Democracy in Christian Science Monitor May 21, 2012).
A few days ago, I watched a debate between Amr Moussa and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, two of the leading candidates among the 13 running for president of Egypt. This stunning debate went on for more than four hours and was watched by millions of Egyptians and other Arabs. Contrary to the perception around the world that Egypt is inexorably sinking into chaos and intolerance, this debate in many ways reflects the hope for a new Egypt following last year's revolution...
A. H. Zewail. Pillars of Change in Egypt, Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2011 (reproduced in Gulf News December 8, 2011).
Constitutional, judicial and media reforms along with better education and health care are the next challenges in the quest to build a democratic state. Egyptians are voting to elect a democratic parliament, an experience they have not had for over half a century. This is an extraordinary and exhilarating event. What's remarkable about it, among other things, is that only a week before the plebiscite began, an on-schedule election was thought to be impossible...
A. H. Zewail. As Elections Loom, Egyptians Must Unify, New York Times/International Herald Tribune, October 5-6, 2011 (reproduced in Christian Science Monitor October 6, 2011 and published under the title As Elections Loom, Egyptians Must Unify: Peace with Israel Can Only Be Based on Popular Support in New. Persp. Quart. October 5, 2011).
"Where is Egypt going?" a driver named Mohamed asked me recently. It is the question on everyone's mind as the Arab Spring of popular revolution is giving way to the new season of free elections this autumn. At this unique moment in history, there are two critical challenges that face this nation at the heart of the Arab world. The first is how to further catalyze and consolidate the democratic transition through re-establishing unity among all Egyptians. The second is the related issue of achieving a commitment to peace in the Middle East that is genuinely supported by the Egyptian public...
A. H. Zewail. A Compass of Hope for Egypt: The New City for Science & Technology Is the Aswan Dam for the 21st Century, Huffington Post, June 22, 2011 (reproduced in New Persp. Quart. 28 [Summer], 37, 2011 and published under the title Another Revolution Afoot in Egypt: Top-Notch Science in Christian Science Monitor June 23, 2011).
Nearly 100 days after the revolution, Egypt is very different from the country I experienced when millions were on the streets calling for the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime. Despite a myriad of problems, now there is a new energy, or, as the Egyptians say hawa gadid — a new air. The big question is how to channel this energy to forge a new Egypt that is democratic and sustainable, both politically and economically...
A. H. Zewail. Fund Egypt's Future to Save the Arab Uprising, Financial Times, April 25, 2011 (see also the extended version published in New Persp. Quart. 28 [Spring], 39, 2011).
As I was leaving Cairo after Hosni Mubarak stepped down, I asked Esraa, a young woman who was one of the leaders of the revolution: "What was your objective?" She said, "taghier al nezam", a change of the system. The Egyptians brought down the head of the system, but not the system itself. That is the challenge now...
A. H. Zewail. Scientific Revolution, New Scientist, April 23, 2011, p.26.
Scientific research in the Arabian, Persian and Turkish Middle East lags behind that of the west. Of course, there are individual scientists who produce world-class research and there are institutions and nations which make significant contributions in certain fields. Publication and citation indicators show some encouraging trends. But naturally one asks: "Why have Arab, Persian and Turkish scientists as a group underperformed compared with their colleagues in the West or with those rising in the East?"
A. H. Zewail. Education System Needs Its Own Revolution to Succeed, Times, February 21, 2011 (see also the complete web version).
The process of transformation begins with democracy, but it does not end there. The first uprising brings political change; a second is now needed to transform Arab learning. The failure of Arab education is one of the underlying causes of youth discontent in the region and has serious cultural, economic and political consequences...
A. H. Zewail. We Must Unleash the Power of Egypt's Youth, Times, February 16, 2011.
The Egyptian people have overthrown the Mubarak regime in a peaceful revolution. Now that the tumult has subsided, the hard work of reconstruction must begin. There is a strange mix of excitement and trepidation in the air, but underlying it all is the prospect of real progress — not least in reintroducing Egypt's leadership of the Arab world...
A. H. Zewail. Egypt's Next Steps, International Herald Tribune, February 3, 2011 (also published in the New York Times on February 2, 2011).
The revolt that has erupted across Egypt is in many ways historic and should take the nation into a hopeful future. What's unexpected, even by the Egyptians themselves, is that this intifada is led by youth, the so-called Facebook children, with no religious or ideological agenda other than a better future for Egypt and its people...
A. H. Zewail. The US Needs a New Soft Era, The Guardian, July 12, 2010.
Earlier this year I was in Alexandria, speaking about educational reform in front of a packed auditorium of students, teachers, and professionals. I was there as the US president's science envoy to the Middle East. I was surrounded by talented young people, ambitious for themselves and for their country. They represent the hope of Egyptian society and are the ones whom Barack Obama's Cairo initiative, "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world ... based upon mutual interest and mutual respect", must motivate and engage...
A. H. Zewail. Science as a Shaper of Global Diplomacy, Los Angeles Times (Sunday Edition), June 27, 2010 (also published in the Christian Science Monitor under the title Science, Not Hollywood or Starbucks, Is America's Best Soft Power on June 28, 2010).
In today's world, America's soft power is commonly thought to reside in the global popularity of Hollywood movies, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Starbucks. But the facts tell a different story. In a recent poll involving 43 countries, 79% of respondents said that what they most admire about the United States is its leadership in science and technology. The artifacts of the American entertainment industry came in a distant second...
A. H. Zewail. Science in Diplomacy, Cell 141, 204 (2010).
Throughout human history, science and technology have been the backbone of innovations that have driven economic development. Yet, rather oddly, they have not been seriously invoked in the pursuit of diplomacy. This Commentary examines the important role of science in diplomacy and its soft-power in world affairs and peace...
A. H. Zewail. Obama's Sweet Egyptian Date, International Herald Tribune, September 30, 2009, p. 8 (also published in the Boston Globe under the title Obama's Challenge: An Islamic Renaissance on September 27, 2009).
In August, I returned to Egypt, the country of my birth, for the first time since President Obama spoke in June at the University of Cairo. I discussed the president's address with a veteran Egyptian diplomat, who described its impact as "historic". Mr. Obama's words were regarded as a momentous break from the past, spoken by an American president who respects Muslim faith and culture, and is optimistic about future relations with Muslim nations...
D. Baltimore and A. H. Zewail. We Need a Science White House, Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2008, p. A18.
Tomorrow Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain should have been going toe-to-toe in a televised science debate. All three were invited by a bipartisan group of Nobel laureates and other scholars called ScienceDebate 2008 to step on stage at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and explain how they will ensure that America continues to dominate the sciences. Leading in scientific research and advancement is an essential element to our future prosperity, health and national defense...
A. H. Zewail. We Arabs Must Wage a New Form of Jihad, Independent, August 24, 2006.
The cataclysmic wars in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq have uncovered the reality of Arab unity and plight, and the collective conscience of international society. It is abundantly clear that the Arab people must themselves build a new system for a new future. The current state, as judged by a low GDP, high level of illiteracy, and deteriorating performance in education and science, is neither in consonance with their hearts and minds nor does it provide for their political, economic, and educational aspirations...
A. H. Zewail. The West and Islam Need not be in Conflict, Independent, October 24, 2006.Selected Publications →
Five years after September 11, we must ask, can western wars solve the so-called global conflict with the Islamic world? The answer, in my opinion, is no. A far better state of world peace would be achieved if the West would make a serious commitment to the just resolution of conflicts, and be genuinely involved, using a fraction of war costs, in building bridges to progress and peace with an understanding of the profound role of pride and faith in the lives of Muslims...
A. H. Zewail. Reflections on Arab Renaissance, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs I, 36 (2011).
I recently read an important study that left me in awe of the knowledge demographics of our planet. In Educating All Children: A Global Agenda, Joel Cohen and David Bloom argue that while the aim of achieving primary and secondary schooling for all children is urgent and feasible, more than three hundred million children will not be in school in the year 2015. Empowering future generations with contemporary liberal arts education represents a significant challenge, even for highly developed nations...
A. H. Zewail. Mediterranean Scientopolitics, Science 321, 1417 (2008).
On this year's Bastille Day in July, the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, inaugurated a new initiative for uniting the Mediterranean South with Europe in general, and France in particular. The aim of the Mediterranean Union (MU), an analogue of the post-Cold War European Union (EU), is to "lay the foundations of a political, economic and cultural union founded on the principles of strict equality." Comprising 27 EU members and states from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans, the MU would in principle unite close to 800 million people. In June, a meeting was held at the Institut de France with representation from many academies, scientists, and politicians to discuss possible cooperative programs. The goals expressed at the meeting are admirable; however, the MU's motives need to be clearly defined, as the issues for the MU are very different from those for the EU. Most important, thus far missing in the fabric of the former is an explicit role for education and science...
A. H. Zewail. The Future of Our World, 5th U Thant Distinguished Lecture, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan, April 15, 2003.
Over the last century, our world has experienced at times a "beautiful age" with promises of peace and prosperity, but then some imposing forces changed the entire landscape. History reminds us of recurrences, and the current state of the world is not so different that we may ask—what political and economic forces cause such disorder in a world seeking prosperity through globalization and revolutionary advances in technology? Here we will address the need for a rational world vision that must take into account developments in the population of the have-nots and dialogues of cultures. It is a vision of economic, political, religious, and cultural dimensions in world affairs. Only with such a vision can we shape a bright future for our world...
A. H. Zewail. Dialogue of Civilizations: Making History Through a New World Vision, UNESCO Public Address, Paris, France, April 20, 2002.
The 2002 UNESCO conference, "Science et la quête du sens" in Paris, was devoted to science and the quest for meaning; the English title, "Science and the Spiritual Quest", emphasizes the spiritual dimension, a realm beyond science. Similarly, this chapter, which is based on my lecture given at the conference, is concerned with dimensions beyond science—our human existence in civilizations and cultures that may or may not be in a state of clash...
A. H. Zewail. Science in the Developing World, TWAS Newslett. 14, 23 (2002).
I am pleased to have this opportunity to share with you some personal reflections on current issues which I believe may well be at the core of world peace and stability. Science education and development through science are the subject of my presentation, and I thought I would use my personal journey through two cultures, one currently developing and the other developed, to address issues of concern and what should be done to achieve progress...
A. H. Zewail. Science for the Have-Nots, Nature 410, 741 (2001).AZ Foundation and Prizes →
Only a fifth of the population enjoys the benefit of life in the 'developed world', and the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to increase, threatening stability. According to the World Bank, of the 6 billion people on Earth, 4.8 billion live in developing countries, 3 billion live on less than US$2 a day, and 1.2 billion live on less than $1 a day, which defines the absolute poverty standard; 1.5 billion people do not have access to clean water...
The Ahmed Zewail Foundation for Knowledge and Development was established through the American University in Cairo as a non-profit, non-political organization with the purpose of disseminating useful knowledge. The Foundation currently provides prizes for young people who "demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the pursuit of scientific inquiry and the affirmation of humanistic values". In addition, at the Opera House one prize is given annualy for outstanding achievements and creativity in the arts.
Three Zewail prizes have also been established for outstanding achievements in science and technology by the American Chemical Society, by Elsevier, and by the Wayne State University. The prizes honor scientists from around the world for their creative contrubutions.