Professor Zewail is the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Professor Zewail received this award for his studies of chemical reactions using femtosecond spectroscopy. (Note: 1 femtosecond = 10-15 sec = 0.000000000000001 second.)
Prof. Zewail is presently the Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics, and the Director of the NSF center, the Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, at the California Institute of Technology.
Professor Zewail was born and raised in Egypt, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Alexandria University, then moved to the United States where he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1974 he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, followed shortly thereafter by a faculty appointment at CalTech where he remains today.
In addition to the Nobel Prize he has also received the Robert A. Welch Prize, the Wolf Prize, the King Faisal Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, the Peter Debye Award, and the E.O. Lawrence Award. From Egypt he received the Order of the Grand Collar of the Nile, the highest state honor, and postage stamps were issued in Egypt to honor his contributions to science and humanity. A fuller listing of his honors and autobiography is available on the Nobel Prize web site.
Professor Zewail will deliver the Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremony on Monday night.