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 exposé 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.
Subjects: History, Physics
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