“Crystals of Golden Proportions”
‘“Eyn chaya kazo”, Dan Shechtman said to himself. “There can be no such creature” in Hebrew. It was the morning of 8 April 1982. The material he was studying, a mix of aluminum and manganese, was strange looking, and he had turned to the electron microscope in order to observe it at the atomic level. However, the picture that the microscope produced was counter to all logic: he saw concentric circles, each made often bright dots at the same distance from each other (figure 1).
Shechtman had rapidly chilled the glowing molten metal, and the sudden change in temperature should have created complete disorder among the atoms. But the pattern he observed told a completely different story: the atoms were arranged in a manner that was contrary to the laws of nature. Shechtman counted and recounted the dots. Four or six dots in the circles would have been possible, but absolutely not ten. He made a notation in his notebook: 10 Fold???”‘
Comment: At first, Dr. Shechtman was rediculed for his “impossible” discovery, and given a textbook on crystallography to study. Eventually, his boss asked him to leave the research group. But as his paper gained some circulation and the results were repeated, he was vindicated for believing the observations, rather than the textbooks.
You see, things really do turn out right in science sometimes!