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Voyage Through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize [Paperback]

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Item description for Voyage Through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize by Ahmed H. Zewail...

From a beginning in an Egyptian Delta town and the port of Alexandria to the scenic vistas of sunny southern California, Ahmed Zewail takes us on a voyage through time -- his own life and the split-second world of the femtosecond. In this engaging expos of his life and work until his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1999, Zewail explores in non-technical language the landscape of molecules glimpsed on the scale of one quadrillionth of a second: the femtosecond, 0. 000 000 000 000 001 second. Zewail enriches the journey into the strange territory of femtochemistry with insightful analogies and illustrations to aid both the general reader and the scientifically inclined. He likewise draws lessons from his life story so far, and he meditates on the impact the revolution in science has had on our modern world -- in both developed and developing countries. He suggests a concrete course of action for the world of the have-nots, and ends the book with hope for Egypt in developing the nation's greatest natural resource -- its youth -- to build a more promising future, and for America to develop a new vision domestically and internationally.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Pages   344
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 15, 2004
Publisher   American University in Cairo Press
ISBN  9774248430  
ISBN13  9789774248436  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ahmed H. Zewail

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Zewail received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, unshared, in 1999. He currently occupies the Linus Pauling Chair of Chemistry and he is professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Political
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Scientists
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Chemistry > Chemistry
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Chemistry > Physical & Theoretical
7Books > Subjects > Science > Chemistry > General & Reference
8Books > Subjects > Science > Chemistry > Physical & Theoretical
9Books > Subjects > Science > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Voyage Through Time: Walks of Life to the Nobel Prize?

Femtoscope and Zewail Unit  Nov 13, 2002
A papyrus of profundity:
One of the most inspiring autobiographies,destined to become a classic,
beautifully illustrated,
what an epitome of wisdom!
Blends the real with the ideal,
a Universal character from Kemet,the land of Maat,
the character of the age who lived an age of character
A mighty clarion call for all to excell,
A map of ideas,
A vision of beauty towards a green knowledge,
A paradigm on Geniization...
As Zewail freezes his book:"The book encapsulates six stations of the journey:childhood, which began on the banks of the Nile and was shaped by the love and confidence of my parents; admission to the Faculty of Science in Alexandria, which defined my science career as well as my engagement to a science student; the scholarship in America, which opened up a whole new world for me; the years of scientific discovery at Caltech, which have changed the way we think about the science of time and matter; the receipt of the King Faisal International Prize, which was the first major prize to recognize my group's contribution and which ultimately provided me with a new family; and the receipt of the Nobel prize, which led to a place in the history of science"
Chapter titles are but genius:
1-On the banks of the Nile
2-The Gate to Science
3-The American Encounter
4-California Gold
5-The Invisible Atom
6-The Race against Time
Six Millenia to Femtotime
7-Time and Matter
The Femtouniverse in Perspective
8-On the Road to Stockholm
Festivities and Fairy Tales
9-A personal Vision:
The World of the Have-Nots
10-Walks to the Future
My Hope for Egypt and America

Success--Is there a Formula?

Exquisite Language:
"I explored the landscape of molecules glimpsed on the scale of their lives in the split-second world of the femtosecond, a millionth of a billionth of a second, and the landscape of personal events glimpsed at the important stations of my life. Faith, fate, and intuition were forces influencing this voyage."Dr.Ahmed Hassan Zewail

An excellent book by the �King of Femtoland�.  Aug 18, 2002
To me, there is no happier moment than when I crack open a new book. After preparing a cup of tea, I'll settle down in anticipation of a pleasant journey. While doing the same with Zewail's book, I discovered that I read more than 70 pages without a second sip of my, then cold, tea. I have always thought of Zewail as an eminent scientist, but it wasn't until I read his book, that I discovered he is a talented writer as well. Zewail received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999 for founding and developing what is now known as "femtochemistry". The book is his autobiography. The author's description of his childhood and early years of study in Egypt is breathtaking. He also describes in a very interesting and humorous way, how he dealt with different cultural challenges facing him on his quest of a Ph.D. in the States. According to Zewail, the political barrier was relatively easy to overcome in comparison with cultural issues. He recalls an instance when a young man and woman started kissing each other passionately during a laboratory session in the university. As the person who was supposed to supervise the class, poor young Zewail could not believe his eyes and absolutely had no idea what to do. He soon ran out of the lab to consult his superior, who said: "Well, Ahmed, you know . . . they . . . they, you know, they do this here . . ".

The book, however, is not a mere biography. It explains the work that paved the way to Stockholm for the Nobel Prize. For a long time, scientists have been trying to understand what is happening during a chemical reaction: how molecules form; the way atoms respond to the movement of other atoms, and how they join, split or rotate or whatever. Unfortunately for us, all the events of a chemical reaction start and end within an extremely short time, only some femtoseconds (a "femtosecond" is a million billionth of a second). With his research group in Caltech, Zewail succeeded in using ultra-short laser flashes (short, relative to the time scale on which chemical reactions occur) to uncover what actually happens during this unbelievably short time. In order to understand how important this achievement is, imagine you are cooking a meal in a magical place. You add flour to raw meat and a pizza promptly forms, with everything happening so fast that you cannot witness the process, you see only the result, pizza. It is nice, albeit annoying that you cannot add salt or spices, or for that matter, modify the result in any way God rules the interim. Thanks to Zewail's achievements, not only do we understand more about chemical reactions, but we may also be able to manipulate non-compatible substances in the creation of never before dreamt of materials. It is a major contribution to science. The author also explains the scientific process, how the selection of scientists for prizes is decided upon, how scientific institutions celebrate the honoring of their own members, and how such awards can affect the lives of the honored and their families. The book richly reminds you of many events and views in the history of science. The author also makes known to the reader his own views regarding the future and how developing countries can contribute to science.

My only complaint would be the use of "adaption" for "adoption" on p. 178. The book was written well before 2002 but it appeared in 2002. As it is certainly going to be a classic, its talk of the 10-drachma coin of Greece (p. 100) will probably not be easily understood by future generations. Perhaps a footnote should have been added, explaining that there existed a form of currency before the Euro.

What were they able to see with the laser flashes?
Read "Voyage Through Time" to get the answer.


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