Nobel Prize

Research Themes

Center for Ultrafast Science & Technology

Laboratory for Molecular Sciences


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Global Issues and Science Education


  • Public Lectures and Discourse
  • Professor Ahmed Zewail has presented over three hundred named, plenary, and keynote lectures, including: Andersen (Hans Christian), Bernstein (UCLA, Wisconsin), Berson, Bodenstein, Cavendish (Scott Series), Celsius, Condon, Aimé Cotton, Coulson, Debye, Einstein (Berlin, New Delhi, Mexico), Eyring, Faraday, Franklin (Benjamin), Gandhi, Helmholtz, Hinshelwood, Karrer, Kirkwood, Kistiakowsky, Lawrence, Lewis (G. N.), London, Nobel, Novartis, Noyes, Onassis, Oppenheimer, Ørsted, Othmer, Pascal (Blaise), Pauling, Perrin, Pimentel, Planck, Polanyi, Raman, Roberts, Röntgen, Schrödinger, Solvay, U Thant (United Nations), Thomson (J. J.), Tolman, Watson, Welch, Wilson, and Zewail.

    A. H. Zewail. Franklin's Vision, Speech at the Annual General Meeting of the American Philosophical Society in celebration of the Franklin Tercentenary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 27, 2006.

    On this special occasion of the Tercentenary, I am especially delighted to speak in honor of a polymath and an American icon, Benjamin Franklin. Since his death in 1790, Franklin has been revered, memorialized, and made into an educational, financial, and political icon. Through his collective work this sage has climbed to the apex of human endeavor in the sciences, public service, and statesmanship in international relations. Such great heights for a man of wit and wisdom are reached by very few in the world, both then and now...

    A. H. Zewail. Light and Life, Ninth Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Lecture, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, Bangalore, India, October 17, 2002.

    Scientific research is the subject of this lecture, but I wish to focus here on one of its pillars—the value of curiosity-driven research and its impact on our life, the life of the "haves" and "have-nots". For this scientific endeavour, I will demonstrate my point from the study of one phenomenon that has occupied the thinking of humans throughout history—it is the phenomenon of light. What is light?

    A. H. Zewail. Time's Mysteries and Miracles: Consonance with Physical and Life Sciences, Albert Einstein Public Lecture, IIT, New Delhi, India, October 22, 2002.

    Ever since the dawn of history, humans have been the benefactors of time's miracles, but at the same time they have been baffled by time's mysteries. More than six millennia ago, the philosophy and measurement of time occupied the minds of scholars in the land of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and, even today we struggle with the meaning of time. In this overview, I present some concepts and techniques developed in the science and technology of time, and an exposé of some of the mysteries and miracles that are in harmony with physical and life sciences...

    A. H. Zewail. It is Possible, One Hundred Reasons to be a Scientist, 2nd ed., ICTP, Trieste, 2005, p. 260.

    On the banks of the Nile, the Rosetta branch, I was born in Damanhur, the "City of Horus", only 60 km from Alexandria. In retrospect, it is remarkable that my childhood origins were flanked by two great places—Rosetta, the city where the famous Stone was discovered, and Alexandria, the home of ancient learning...

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