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October 2011

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2011

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Nobel prize for Chemistry for this year will be given to Dan Shechtman, an Israeli scientist born in 1941. His groundbreaking discovery involved quasicrystals, a type of material that defied the existing understanding of crystalline structures.

Here's a brief breakdown:

  • Education: Ph.D. in Materials Science from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (1972)
  • Discovery: Quasicrystals, materials with long-range atomic order but lacking the periodic repetition of conventional crystals. Initially met with skepticism due to their challenging established scientific beliefs.

With their diverse properties, quasicrystals hold promise in various fields:

  • Materials science: Quasicrystalline alloys are being explored for strengthening materials like turbine blades and cutting tools due to their hardness and wear resistance. Additionally, their low friction and heat conductivity make them suitable for coatings and thermal management applications.
  • Optics: The unique electronic structure of some quasicrystals makes them potentially useful for developing photonic devices like LEDs and solar cells. Their ability to diffract light in unique ways might lead to novel optical applications.
  • Electronics: Research is ongoing to explore the use of quasicrystals in transistors and other electronic components due to their tunable electronic properties. They could pave the way for new, more efficient electronic devices.
  • Biomedical applications: Some quasicrystals exhibit biocompatibility, making them potentially suitable for implants and medical devices. Their unique surface properties could also be beneficial for designing drug delivery systems.


-Karthik Gurumurthy

Shobana and I have a friend, she has cancer. Stage 4. She is currently kicking the crap out of it. We have never met a more positive person. We try and meet once a week with her. Not for her, for us. I mean yes, we go to be supportive, loving and show our friendship, but we get more from the visits than she does. I think.

When she talks about her Chemo, she is excited. “It’s so good!” she says. “I am embracing it with love and joy!”

When we look at her with a perplexed look as if to say, “Really? Love and Joy? Chemo?” She always replies, “Of course, I have to. What else is there to do?”

This her second go-around with Cancer and she is always maintained her positivity. This is not new to her. Her Chemo is intense, every week for 14 weeks. She is always fashionable with the coolest and cutest hats to hide her hair loss. I love her attitude. It’s infectious.

Now, don’t get me wrong. She would trade everything for being healthy, not having Cancer. She is however, hopeful.


A doctor, while discussing her prognosis, told her he didn’t want to give her “false hope”. To which she replied, “Please do give me all the false hope you want. What else is there!”

She’s not delusional, she’s not being ignorant. She is however clinging to those four letters, that one word. Hope.

Isn’t amazing that the smallest things, the simplest ideas have sometimes the most amazing and powerful impact? Like 4 letter words. Even the bad ones, have four letters. Here’s my list of my favorite 4 letter words:


and of course.. LOVE.

If we lived each day with those words as a check list. An inventory of our our attitude, the world would be better because we would be better.

Today I am hopeful and better because I know that each of us has the ability to be better. Everyday.

Will you?