Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian scientist Ahmed Zewail dies at 70

Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail died on Tuesday in the United States at the age of 70.

Ahmed Zewail was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for showing that it is possible with rapid laser technique to study in slow motion how atoms in a molecule move during a chemical reaction down to tens of femtoseconds (fs) or 0.000000000000001 seconds.

Ahmed Zewail was the first Arab scientist to win a Nobel prize in Chemistry.

“The cause of death is unknown … whether it is cancer or something else … His doctor said his condition was stable the last time I called him last week,” spokesman Sherif Foad said.

Zewail was born in the city of Damanhur, 160 km (100 miles) northwest of Cairo. He studied at Alexandria University, in the city where he grew up.

He later moved to the United States and earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Zewail had taught at Caltech in California since 1976. Before, he worked at the University of California, Berkeley.

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