ICE Issue 9

35 The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer Issue 9 · January 2023 · Tevet 5783 History of Chemistry Articles nuclei. From Shimon’s perspective, that only meant that the math is more fun, because he could now diagonalize 4×4 and 6×6 matrices, and he could do it in ease by scribbling transformation operators on the blackboard. But Shimon would make you do it yourself with his endless patience. You would stand in his famous room at the end of the corridor, stand near the blackboard, and try with all your effort to diagonalize Hamiltonians. While you are mixing up Hamiltonians with density matrices, Shimon would work on his computer and occasionally throw insightful remarks, and you would realize that while working on his own affairs, he would still be one-hundred percent focused on your endless struggle and lead you to the correct solution. The greatness of Shimon as a PhD mentor was his ability to make you learn in a gentle and elegant way by guiding you without explicitly solving anything directly. Somehow, he would cause your mind to arrive at the correct answers. Amir Goldbourt When I was a PhD student with Shimon, Claude CohenTannoudji visited the Weizmann Institute. Perhaps his most memorable advice was how to pick your supervisor. He said: “Find a person that you like and the science will be great.” I thought how lucky I was to choose the right supervisor. I was learning from an amazing scientist but, moreover, a unique human being who always gave you the feeling that you are the most important person in his life at that moment and those that follow. The years 1996–2003 will always be engraved in my memory. I joined Shimon’s lab as I wanted to see in my own eyes how quantum mechanics comes to life in experiments, and magnetic resonance was the right choice for that. Shimon made quantummechanics real and beautiful. For that reason, although Shimon suggested that I work on 2H NMR (which I did at the beginning), I was asking for more energy levels. Thus, my PhD studies focused on half-integer quadrupolar Gil Goobes received his BSc at Tel-Aviv University. He completed his MSc and PhDwith Professor Shimon Vega in the Chemical Physics Department of theWeizmann Institute of Science in 2002. Following a post-doctorate with Professors Gary Drobny and Patrick Stayton at the University of Washington, he returned to Israel in 2007 and joined Bar-Ilan University where he is heading the solid-state NMR group in the Department of Chemistry and Institute of Nanotechnology and AdvancedMaterials. His research interests are in fundamental molecular understanding of biomaterials in Nature and medical applications and advanced materials in energy-related systems. Figure 1. Shimon Vega as a young and older man, and his signature Dutch tulips.