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Famed Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail dies

Zewail, who was 70, won the prize in 1999 for pioneering work in femtochemistry, which studies chemical reactions

Published: Updated:

Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail died on Tuesday in the United States, his spokesman told Egyptian state TV.

Zewail, who was 70, won the prize in 1999 for pioneering work in femtochemistry, which studies chemical reactions in ultra-short timescales.

“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 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.

Ahmed Zewail reuters
Ahmed Zewail reuters