ICE Issue 9

37 The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer Issue 9 · January 2023 · Tevet 5783 History of Chemistry Articles – and in his knowledgeable and patient way he acted on it. His door was always open to us, and we could come and ask any question. The main obstacle was finding a time where there wasn’t another student in the room already, whether one of his own students or not. Going into his office with a question, he would often take me back several steps to the basics, making sure I built a solid foundation in his patient way. I would then solve my question with him on the board or at the office armed with the new understanding he gave me. He had a way of simplifying the physics – one day he took me on a gedanken bus ride to explain perturbation theory. But as time went on, we talked more and more in matrices and Hamiltonians, creating a Vega group shorthand DNP convention. When a hard question came, we would often work on it in parallel. Shimon would take the research to heart, as well as his student’s wellbeing. He would come to see how an experiment was going (spinning on the lab chair in his energetic way), coming to the student office to hear the latest experiment or simulation results, or calling you to his office and saying he didn’t sleep at night thinking about the problem at hand. He would help out when needed, learn about what we discovered, and give direction in his gentle way: “If I were you I would do this and that next,” he would say. His reactions were often an inverse reflection of my own feelings: when I was excited about some new result, he would cool me down, talking about possible problems or the next steps; and when I was down – he would try to pick me up, pointing to past successes. Shimon would always have something good to say about everyone. If he disagreed with the theory, he would point to the experiment, and while he worried that a competitor would publish something before us – it always felt we belonged to the same group. While he believed in his way of thought – he tried to connect it to that of others. Before anything else, he would view you as a person, and as such would treat you in his friendly and polite way. I feel fortunate, thankful, and privileged to have had Shimon as my professor, and to have taken part in his group. Ilia Kaminker As perhaps all the others who have passed through Shimon’s research group, I shared the same experience of having to convince him to take me in. I spent six years, during my PhD with Daniella Goldfarb, sitting in the student room two doors from Shimon’s office. By the time I was looking for a postdoctoral position, we knew each other. I took Shimon’s NMR primer, he helped us with theory on one of my papers surprised with an unanticipated result, was flipping individual proton lines while applying a phase-modulated Lee Goldburg (PMLG) decoupling field, which we were running together with Elena Vinogradov. We tested the crystalline hydrate of histidine with its 10-proton spin system and were trying to record the magnetization transfer between protons after such DANTE-PMLG flip, only to discover that the protons would diffuse fast, too fast when the strengths of all contributing interactions were accounted for. It dawned on us, then, that the sample we used was uniformly 13C labeled and that the homonuclear carbon-carbon couplings would serve as a spin bath that would cause the extra leakage of spin magnetization through the non-negligible 1H–13C couplings. By including CWdecoupling on the 13C through the sequence and verifying with a natural abundance histidine sample we could confirm that this was the reason for the faster spin diffusion. It was the outstanding combination of Shimon’s true caring mentorship and sweeping endeavor at solving fundamental research challenges that made the experience of spending time under his tutelage unforgettable. Thank you, Shimon. Yonatan Hovav I was a student of Prof. Shimon Vega during my masters and PhD, as well as during a short postdoctoral period, with most of our time together devoted to the study of static solid state DNP. There is much praise to give Shimon as a teacher, a mentor, a scientist, and a person. Below are some glimpses into who he was to me, and I believe to his other students and co-workers as well. I joined Shimon’s group after taking his NMR primer. Something in his enthusiasm and friendliness drew me to him. I did not have a quantum mechanical background, but was fascinated by it, and hoped Shimon would help me understand it better. To join the lab, you had to go through Shimon’s fire test (I believe most, if not all, of his students passed it): “Why would you come to my lab?” he would ask, “You will need to work much harder to get the same results as in other labs.” And he was right – my MSc period left me confused and with few results, at least in my mind, and yet I stayed for a PhD. It was there that all the hours spent with Shimon and his students sank in, and suddenly things made sense. I ended up spending most of my time writing and playing with quantum mechanical simulations, trying to understand the basic mechanisms of DNP. Shimon would often say that our task in science is to transfer the knowledge from one generation to the next – starting from the giants of old and building the generation to come