Awards and Prizes

The Aminoff Prize in Crystallography to Dan Shechtman

[Aminoff Prize] Sitting (left to right): Kristina Olovsson, Sven Lidin, Dan Shechtman, Janne Carlsson (President of the Academy); standing: Ivar Olovsson and Zipora Shechtman.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Aminoff prize in crystallography for the year 2000 to Professor Dan Shechtman, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, for his discovery of quasicrystals. He received the prize at the Academy meeting on September 13, 2000.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation hosted an international symposium, 'Symmetry 2000', September 13-16, organized by Istvan Hargittai and Torvard Laurent. The program spanned vast areas, from symmetry in arts and architecture, crystals and tilings to mathematics and theoretical physics. Over 100 participants took part in the symposium, including B. Grünbaum, H.S.M. Coxeter, J. Dunitz, A.L. Mackay, B. Mandelbrot, D. Schattschneider and M. Senechal. The interdisciplinary character of the symposium stimulated interesting discussions among participants with widely different backgrounds.

Shechtman's discovery at the beginning of 1980 of an ordered material with classically forbidden fivefold symmetry, 'quasicrystals', was something of a crystallographic bomb. The discovery constitutes a fundamentally new step in our understanding of basic concepts about order and symmetry in the crystalline state. Intensive research into those fascinating solids revealed extraordinary physical properties and has led to novel practical applications. Shechtman's discovery also stimulated theoretical studies of quasicrystalline arrangements by mathematicians and theoretical physicists.

Ivar Olovsson, Chairman, Swedish National Committee of Crystallography