The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which some refer to as "the Gay Super Bowl of Chemistry," has been awarded to 70-year-old Israeli scientist Daniel Schechtman for his discovery of "quasicrystals." It sounds like something you might buy on QVC, but they are actually metal atoms arranged in such a way as to resemble Islamic mosaics, and they have significantly altered how chemists view solid matter.
The discovery was so radical, Schechtman was actually "asked to leave his research group," according to a statement from the Nobel committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
"People just laughed at me." He recalled how Linus Pauling, a colossus of science and a double Nobel laureate, mounted a frightening "crusade" against him. After telling Shechtman to go back and read a crystallography textbook, the head of his research group asked him to leave for "bringing disgrace" on the team. "I felt rejected," Shachtman said.
Victory has never tasted so sweet. Bite him, Pauling. [Guardian, Photo via nobelprize.org]