ICE Issue 9

38 The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer Issue 9 · January 2023 · Tevet 5783 History of Chemistry Articles Shimon to involve me in the spectroscopy projects. At the time, he was working on the theory of cross polarization (CP) and offered me the opportunity to join these efforts. My first assignment was to read and understand an article that Shimon had just published along with another PhD student, David Marks, in which they established a unified view of static and magic-angle spinning CP experiments [4]. The CP paper was one of my first encounters with complex NMR spectroscopy, and it served as an entry to my scientific career. I struggled with that paper back then (and still do now!) as it is quite intense mathematically, but after numerous hours of discussions, working through our disagreements together, and getting through the equations with his guidance, a consistent picture of one of the most important solid-state NMR experiments began to emerge. The CP paper shaped my understanding of dipolar recoupling experiments, and specifically those that involve strongly coupled systems. Shimon had an amazingly clear and at the same time constantly evolving picture of magnetic resonance and the ability to bring physics to life. His door was always open to students, and interacting with them and mentoring themwere among his greatest joys. He valued our opinions and ideas even if they were nonsensical. In many ways, his influence, which was not limited just to science, had a profound impact on my life and future career. We have lost a true scientist and scholar. He will be dearly missed. Michal Leskes I got to join Shimon’s group pretty randomly. I was a Chemistry undergraduate in my second year at Tel Aviv University, looking for something to do in the summer. I came across the summer program at Weizmann and thought I’d try. I quickly realized I had no idea how to choose a lab for the summer and going through the webpages of researchers at Weizmann didn’t help at all, since nothing made sense. I knew I liked spectroscopy, but beyond that I decided to choose based on who was smiling in their photo – and that is how I got to Shimon Vega’s group. This was probably the best career move I made… joining Shimon’s group for that summer completely determined what kind of research I would do in the next few years and what kind of scientist I aspire to be. Only in retrospect can I appreciate the dedication of Shimon. I was only a second-year undergraduate student, yet Shimon spent a few hours every day with me, teaching me the basics of NMR in solids. We would talk during the day, and he would give me questions to think about and get back to him for the next day. Taking the train from Tel Aviv to Rehovot and back with Daniella, and I heard him present many times in various magnetic resonance conferences. Still, when I asked him if I could join his group, he tried, as was his custom, to talk me out of it. Fortunately, I was persistent enough and had the honor and privilege to work with Shimon for two years (2012–2014). During that time, we worked closely with Shimon’s PhD students Daphna Shimon and Yonatan Hovav with constant support from Akiva Feintuch. When I joined the group, the three of us were working on separate projects, all having to do with understanding of DNP. Somehow, after a fewmonths, all the projects had merged, and we realized that we are actually all working together on different aspects of one bigger problem. The combined effort during the remaining year and a half remains a unique scientific experience with the three of us under constant guidance from Shimon, tackling, revealing and slowly understanding a complicated phenomenon. Another profound influence of Shimon on me was the realization that there are different levels of understanding. All of us sometimes say to ourselves “now I understand it.” Shimon had ver y st r ict requi rements as to what “understanding” means. Understanding for him had to do with rigorous derivation; it had to be firmly based on the very basics of magnetic resonance and quantummechanics. He did not believe in hand-waving arguments – they never convinced him. It took me quite some time to adapt myself to Shimon’s requirement of “understanding” and I am very grateful to him for this. It has undoubtedly made me a better scientist. I miss Shimon greatly. After returning to Israel I had many ideas that I was hoping to discuss with him. I wanted to invite him to see my lab – something that, now, will never happen. Rest in peace, Shimon. Vladimir Ladizhansky I joined Shimon’s group as an MSc student in 1993 on the advice of Professor Yehiam Prior, and had the privilege of spending the next six years in his lab and continuing to learn from him for much longer. My MSc and PhD theses were at the interface of chemistry and physics, focusing on the analysis of II-VI diluted magnetic semiconductors and semiconductor nanoparticles. As Shimon’s main interest was in the fundamentals of NMR spectroscopy, most other graduate students and postdocs in the lab worked on various spectroscopic problems (e.g., RFDR, NMR of quadrupolar nuclei, proton spectroscopy). Early in my PhD, I became somewhat dissatisfied with my “outcast” status and asked