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Nobel Prize award winners

An Egyptian-born chemist, two Dutch scientists and a German-born professor have been awarded the 1999 Nobel Prizes for chemistry, physics and medicine respectively.

Professor Ahmed Zewail dubbed the 'fastest chemist in the world', was awarded the chemistry award for his pione...
An Egyptian-born chemist, two Dutch scientists and a German-born professor have been awarded the 1999 Nobel Prizes for chemistry, physics and medicine respectively.

Professor Ahmed Zewail dubbed the 'fastest chemist in the world', was awarded the chemistry award for his pioneering efforts to reveal the details of chemical reactions. Thanks to Prof. Zewail, of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, chemists now have an ultra-fast camera to study the chemical reactions taking place in the cells of our bodies. He pioneered the use of lasers to reveal processes that take place over a few femtoseconds - where a femtosecond is a thousandth of a millionth of a millionth of a second.

The Dutch scientists, Gerardus 't Hooft, of the University of Utrecht, and Martinus Veltman of Bilthoven were themselves awarded the Nobel Prize for physics for their work which three decades ago made other Nobel Prizes possible. Their work also provided the theoretical basis for the new particle collider at the CERN laboratories in Geneva. They were awarded their prize for 'placing particle physics on a firmer mathematical foundation'. Their mathematical rigour had validated an effort to unify theory that won an earlier Nobel Prize.

The Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to Professor Günter Blobel, now a US citizen at the Rockefeller University of New York, who discovered the 'postal system' of life. His study of the way proteins are directed around cells has underpinned advances in diagnosing and treating disease. It will also contribute towards the next generation of medical treatment, namely gene transplants.
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