Ahmed Zewail

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Ahmed Zewail (2010)

Ahmed Hassan Zewail ( Arabic أحمد حسن زويل, DMG Aḥmad Ḥasan Zuwail ; Also transcribed: Sewail; * February 26, 1946 in Damanhur ; † August 2, 2016 in Pasadena , California ) was an Egyptian chemist and Nobel Prize winner for work in femtochemistry .


Zewail grew up in Disuq in northern Egypt. He studied at the University of Alexandria ( bachelor's degree) and received his doctorate under Robin Hochstrasser at the University of Pennsylvania . He was a post-doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley . From 1976 he worked at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he became professor, from 1990 as Linus Pauling Professor in Chemical Physics . In 1978 he received a research grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ( Sloan Research Fellowship ).

Zewail was a pioneer of femtochemistry, the study of chemical reactions in the femtosecond range with ultra-short laser pulses.

In January 2010 Ahmed Zewail, Elias Zerhouni, and Bruce Alberts became the first US science envoys for Islam. In this role he traveled to countries with a majority Muslim population.

Zewail served on President Barack Obama's Scientific Advisory Board .

Zewail had US citizenship from 1982 . He was married and had four children.

Awards (selection)

A monument to well-known Egyptian personalities in Madinat as-Sadis min Uktubar , based on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial , from right to left: Naguib Mahfouz - Anwar as-Sadat - Ahmed Zewail - Husni Mubarak

Zewail was a member of the National Academy of Sciences (from 1989), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (from 1993), the American Philosophical Society (from 1998), the Royal Society (from 2001), the Académie des sciences (from 2005), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences and multiple honorary doctorates ( Lund , Complutense University Madrid , Cambridge , Southwestern University , University of Jordan , Yale University .)


Zewail died around the morning of August 2, 2016. He recovered from cancer, but the exact cause of death is unknown.



Web links

Commons : Ahmed Zewail  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. احمد زويل وفاته Ahmed Zewail وفاة احمد زويل مكتشف الفيمتو ثانية صور احمد زويل قبل الوفاة في امريكا Ahmed Zewail death ( memento of 2 August 2016 Web archive archive.today )
  2. Cheryl Pellerin: First US Science Envoys Begin Work in Muslim Majority Countries. In: usembassy.gov. Bureau of International Information Programs, accessed August 3, 2016 .
  3. Biographies of the 2014 honorands at Yale University (yale.edu); Retrieved June 9, 2014.