Quasicrystal Discovery

 

April 8, 2002 marked the 20th anniversary of the discovery of quasicrystals. That discovery was made by Dan Shechtman, who was using transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction to investigate the phases formed by rapidly-quenched aluminum alloys. At the time, Professor Shechtman was on leave from his permanent position at the Technion in Israel, working at the National Bureau of Standards (now known as the National Institute for Standards and Technology, NIST). The picture below shows the page in Professor Shechtman's notebook wherein he recorded that momentous event in 1982. The first paper describing this discovery, and its interpretation, was published by Professor Shechtman and his colleagues -- I. Blech, D. Gratias, and J.W. Cahn -- in Physical Review Letters in 1984 (vol. 53, page 1951).

We've included here an audio narration of some of Professor Shechtman's recollections of that era.

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