Shechtman's three question marks: Possibility, impossibility, and quasicrystals

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The revolutionary discovery of actual quasicrystals, thanks to Dan Shechtman's stamina, is a golden opportunity to analyze once again the role that pure ("theoretical") possibilities and saving them plays in scientific progress. Some theoreticians, primarily Alan Mackay, contributed to saving pure possibilities of quasicrystalline structures and to opening materials science for them. My analysis rests upon an original modal metaphysics-panenmentalism-which I introduced and have been developing since 1999, quite independently of any familiarity with modern crystallography, and which deals with saving pure possibilities as indispensably contributing, inter alia, to our knowledge and sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-224
Number of pages16
JournalFoundations of Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Actualities
  • Alan Mackay
  • Dan Shechtman
  • Modal metaphysics
  • Pure possibilities
  • Quasicrystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • History


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