Voyage Through Time

Voyage Through Time

Product ID: 11505

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Author: Ahmed Zewail
Publisher: Scientia
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 287
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8188155055


In this engaging expose of his life and work until his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1999, Zewail explores in non-technical language the landscape of molecules and takes us on voyage through time – his own life and the split-second world of the femtosecond.

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.


By inventing these methods Zewail was the Christopher Columbus of the femtoworld, becoming the first to witness chemical events that occurred in quadrillionths of a second.
-Robert Paradowski Historian of science and professor, Rochester Institute of technology

Zewail’s use of the fast laser technique can be likened to Galileo’s use of his telescope, which he directed towards everything that lit up the vault of heaven. Zewail tried his femtosecond laser on literally everything that moved in the world of molecules. He turned his telescope towards the frontiers of science. We can now study the actual movements of atoms in molecules. We can speak of them in time and space in the same way that we imagine them. They are no longer invisible.
-Professor Bengt Norden
Chairman of the Noble committee for chemistry,
Swedish Academy of Sciences

This Voyage is an enchanting and evocative tale. It traces the path taken by an inquisitive teenager, who liked roaming freely in the sprawling town in the Nile Delta where he was born, and who to become, within a few short decades, successor in California to the greatest chemist of the twentieth century, Linus Pauling. Like Pauling he also won the Nobel Prize in chemistry outright, for an achievement-the creation of femtochemistry as a powerful new sub-discipline-that is destined to shape much of the science of the twenty-first century. This is a charming, effortlessly pedagogic and inspirational book, and a pleasure to peruse.
-Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas
Former Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain,
and Master of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge


List of Illustrations


First Steps
On the Banks of the Nile

The Gate to Science
The Alexandria Years

The American Encounter
Independence in Philadelphia

California Gold
From Berkeley to Pasadena

The Invisible Atom
Close-up at Caltech

The Race against Time
Six Millennia to Femtotime

Time and Matter
The Femtouniverse in Perspective

On the Road to Stockholm
Festivities and Fairy Tales

A Personal Vision:
The World of the Have-Nots

Walks to the Future
My Hope for Egypt and America

Success- Is there a Formula?

Further Readings