Ahmed H Zewail

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Syed Aslam

File-ZowelDr. Ahmed Zewail was born  in Egypt in 1946. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alexandria University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974.  Joined the  California Institute of Technology in 1976 after two years as an IBM Fellow at UC Berkeley. In 1999 he was the Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for his studies of the transition states of chemical reactions. Dr. Zewail received E.O. Lawrence Award, administrated by the Department of Energy. Other awards include the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, A. Welch Award in chemistry and the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society. In 1999, he received Egypt’s highest state honor, the Grand Collar of the Nile.

Zewail’s technique uses what may be described as the world’s fastest camera. The method uses ultrafast laser flashes of such short duration that we are down to the time scale on which the reactions   happen -that is femtosecond or  one millionth of one billionth of a second. This area of physical chemistry has been named femtochemistry a brand new branch of Chemistry. This new techniques for observing chemical reaction has open the door for amazing useful discoveries.

Femtochemistry enables us to understand why certain chemical reactions take place but not others. We can also explain why the speed and yield of reactions depend on temperature. Scientists all over the  world  are studying processes with femtosecond spectroscopy in gases, in fluids and in solids. Applications range from how catalysts function and how molecular electronic components must be designed, to the most delicate mechanisms in life processes and how the medicines of the future should be produced.

Dr. Zewail is also paying  attention to his home land, Egypt. He established two prizes in his name, one at the high school in Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt where he went to school and the other at the American University in Egypt (AUC).The  Ahmed Zewail prize, awarded for the first time in 2005 at AUC’s commencement. He thinks that the prise will provide an incentive for students to pursue excellence in science.  He is currently writing article for Nature magazine called “Science for the have nots,” in which he tries to explain why building a solid scientific base is so important for developing nations.

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Community News (V13-I16)

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Khawja Shamsuddin Receives Outstanding Volunteer Service Award

Khwaja-ShamsuddinOLYMPIA, WA — Bellevue Police Volunteer Khawja “Shams” Shamsuddin received the Governor’s 2011 Outstanding Volunteer Service Award at a reception on April 11. This award, in its seventh year, is presented by Governor Gregoire on behalf of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service to citizens who “effect real change in their communities through volunteer service.”
The award is presented to coincide with the start of National Volunteer Week.

Shamsuddin has been a Bellevue Police volunteer for more than 12 years. To date he has served in excess of 2,600 hours, primarily at the Factoria substation. Throughout the years he has participated on several entry-level officer oral boards and is a member of Chief Linda Pillo’s Diversity Focus Group, which helps the department understand and respond to the needs and concerns of the city’s various ethnic communities.

When not volunteering at the police department, Shamsuddin is a mediator, interpreter, community relations advisor and fundraiser in the local Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Arab and Indian communities. He also is a sought-after speaker with the Islamic Speakers Bureau and an organizer for the Eastside Interfaith Group.

As Police Volunteer Coordinator Marjorie Trachtman wrote in his award nomination, “Being of service to others is as instinctive to Shams as breathing. (He) embodies the values this award seeks to recognize.”

“We are so fortunate to have such dedicated citizens volunteering with our Department. Their efforts are part of the reason we’re able to provide such a high level of service to the community,” says Chief Linda Pillo.

Ahmed Zewail received top chemistry honor

AhmedZewailNobel laureate Ahmed Zewail has another top feather in his already dazzling cap.  The Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry & Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, was recently  honored with the 2011 Priestley Medal for developing “ultrafast-motion” imaging.

The prestigious award was presented to Zewail by the American Chemical Society (ACS) in recognition of “his development of revolutionary methods for the study of ultrafast processes in chemistry, biology, and materials science.”

Zewail’s pioneering work in femtochemistry—the study of chemical processes on the femtosecond (10–15 second) timescale—established methodology for following the intricacies of chemical transformations as reactants evolve into products by way of fleeting reaction intermediates. His laser-driven “pump-probe” techniques, which were demonstrated initially on gas-phase reactions, captured “snapshots” of intermediates that existed for barely more than the femtosecond period of a molecular vibration.

It may also be noted here that Zewail’s name was also mentioned as the possible president of Egypt as that is his country of birth. However, he had rejected such speculations saying that while he supports democracy he is not interested in that job.

Islamic Studies program to reopen at UCLA

LOS ANGELES,CA–The Islamic Studies graduate program at UCLA has reopened after being suspended in 2007. According to the Daily Bruin the suspension was due to the concerns of the Graduate Council over the lack of faculty commitment to students. Because the program utilizes professors from many departments, students often felt marginalized or ignored because they did not have full-time faculty to guide them, said program chair Khaled Abou El Fadl.

Islamic Studies has significantly changed its policies since its suspension. It is better organized and administered, and professors who want to be involved with the program now have to sign a contract that states they will give students appropriate attention, Abou El Fadl said.

Consequently, one of the most important admissions criteria is a good match between a student and an interested professor.

Colorado State University to Host Lecture on Impact of Muslim-Based Media April 20

Nabil Echchaibi

As unrest grows in the Middle East, what impacts are new Muslim-based media and social media having on revolutions in the region?

To address these and other topics, Colorado State University will host a lecture by Nabil Echchaibi, assistant professor of journalism and media studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The lecture, “Formations of the Muslim Modern: Media, Islam, and Alternative Modernity,” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in CSU’s Clark Building, Room A202.

The lecture will focus on the rise of new media in the Muslim world and the impact media has on Muslim culture and identity, especially among young people.

Echchaibi has a forthcoming book of the same title. In his research on this topic, he analyzed case studies of Muslim media in six cities around the world. He examined how satellite television and digital media have created a new platform for discussion of what it means to be a modern Muslim.

A native of Morocco, Echchaibi also serves as associate director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture at CU. He specializes in identity politics among young Muslims in the Arab world.

He also is currently directing a project funded by the Social Science Research Council, which will compile a cultural history of Muslims in the mountain west region of the United States. The project will produce a web resource and a documentary film.

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