Dan Shechtman, 70, a professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University, Ames Lab scientist and recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is visiting several countries this week.
His 2012 visits, including Israel, Japan, and China, aim to lecture on his discovery of quasicrystal, encourage more students to research on engineering in science and promote nuclear energy.
Shechtman described the applications of quasicrystal, “Quasicrystal gave low coefficient of friction. So they could serve as low friction surfaces. Another application is that based on the fact that some of these materials are non-stick, like Teflon. So you can coat a frying pan with these quasicrystals. There are companies who did that.”
Shechtman also gave another example of how a Swedish company, Sandvik, used his discovery of quasicrystals in developing a unique stainless steel called Sandvik Nanoflex . Its unique properties make this type of steel a useful material for the manufacture of engines, surgical and microsurgical instruments and all sorts of moving mechanical parts.
When talking about how his life has changed after receiving the heavy metal, he valued his family as the most important core, “”My wife is also a professor. We have four children, and 9 grandchildren. We always try our best to keep in touch with each other. It’s wonderful. They are very proud of me. They tell this all the time. Also my grandchildren are very proud.”