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On crystals with five-fold axis

Five-fold symmetry axis is not compatible with translational symmetry and therefore with crystal order, that’s it. To be read in textbooks, and all clever boys and girls do know this. This year Nobel prize in Chemistry celebrates an experimental disproval of this mathematical statement, a remarkable discovery of quasi-crystals, the discovery made accidentally, met first with disbelief and them with euphoria, and almost forgotten now.

Quite some time ago Leonid Levitov showed me a fresh-pressed journal with a diffraction pattern photograph that clearly manifested this five-fold axis. Being a reasonably clever boy, I reacted with expected furiously, citing the textbook. In a couple of weeks, I listened to the talk where Kalugin, Kitaev and Levitov presented the first theory of quasi-crystal order, a break-neck idea of hidden higher-dimensionality of the material. (Actually, I still remember some details of the talk but can’t recall who of the three gave it.) All the authors were PhD students(Correction: was reminded on 9-10-2011 that they were master students)), all were below twenty-five. It looked like golden times of physics came back.

Well, after a while other ideas took over. The authors kept working in the field for a while and contribute a lot.

I find it exteremly unjust that their contributions have not been even mentioned in the scientific blurb that explained the prize. Well, these chemists remain chemists…

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