Physics Faculty Members & Research Fields

  • Astrophysics
  • Condensed Matter
  • Particle Physics

Faculty Members:

 

Prof. Rennan Barkana

Professor Rennan Barkana studies the formation and evolution of the first stars. He constructs models in order to predict the properties of the galaxies in which the first stars formed, and studies ways to study these early galaxies, especially via radio-wave radiation from hydrogen atoms at a wavelength of 21 cm.

He led a study published in 2012 that proposed a new method for detecting the first stars from the early era when the age of the Universe was only one percent of its current age. Another ground-breaking study (end of 2013) predicted for the first time the observational signatures of black holes in the early galaxies resulting from the heating of the cosmic gas when the Universe was half a billion years old.

 

Prof. Sara Beck

  • Star Formation: massive star birth, in the Milky Way and in other galaxies

  • Kinematics of Star Formation: high resolution spectroscopy of gas ionized by young stars and the  emergence problem

  • Radio-Infrared Supernebulae: very compact and dense embedded star clusters, their birth and evolution

  • Astro-Chemistry: the chemistry of starburst galaxies  

 

Dr. Omer Bromberg

My main field of interest is relativistic astrophysics. Currently I’m studying relativistic jets that are ejected from the supermassive black-holes at the cores of active galaxies (AGNs), and from stellar mass black-holes or neutron stars that have just been formed.  These jets are responsible to some of the most luminous and energetic phenomena we know like: gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), blazars, microquasars and possibly some type of highly energetic supernovae. They pass tremendous amount of energy to the galactic and to the inter galactic medium, and affect the growth rate of galaxies and the star formation rate in them. However despite almost 4 decades of research, we still don’t know much about the physical processes that makes them work, and they way they interact with their surroundings.

 

My study involves building analytical models of the jets and running state of the art simulations of hydrodynamic and magnetic jets. For the simulations I am using a local cluster of 1500 cores that is dedicated for my group and supercomputers in universities abroad.   

 

Dr. Noah Brosch

  • Formation and evolution of galaxies with emphasis on environmental influences

  • Space astronomy with emphasis on the ultraviolet

  • Small bodies in the Solar System

 

Prof. Amir Levinson

The research conducted by Amir Levinson focuses on extreme astrophysical phenomena associated with the activity of black holes and neutron stars.  Examples include: Active galactic nuclei, microquasars, gamma ray bursts, pulsars and magnetars.   Amir studies various aspects of those systems by performing theoretical and computational work

 

Prof. Dan Maoz

  • Gravitational Lenses: search and characterization of extrasolar planets via microlensing, galaxy clusters

  • Supernovae: progenitors, white dwarfs, nucleosynthesis, close binaries, planets around dwarf stars

  • Active galactic nuclei: accretion modes onto supermassive black holes

 

Prof. Ehud Nakar

Main field of interest is high-energy astrophysics and in particular the physical processes that are active in sources of high energy radiation, cosmic-rays, neutrinos and gravitational waves.

Among the astrophysical phenomena that are being explored are gamma-ray bursts, supernovae and soft gamma-repeaters. Physical processes that are studied include colissionless and radiation mediated shocks, shock breakouts, particle acceleration, relativistic hydrodynamics and radiative transfer. In the past he also studied topics in complex systems and nonlinear dynamics.

 

Prof. Dovi Poznanski

My main research interests focus on the observation and study of supernovae of the different kinds, thermonuclear or core-collapse, nearby or far away, known or predicted.  I work as well on their use as cosmological probes, and on harnessing of modern computational capabilities to extract knowledge in the nascent field of synoptic surveys.

Recently I’ve been expanding my interests and have worked on the subject of cosmic dust and the interstellar medium, with a focus on developing tools to correct for the effect of dust on cosmological and astrophysical observations.

 

Prof. Amiel Sternberg

  • Interstellar Medium

  • Star Formation

  • Galaxy Evolution

  • Theoretical Astrophysics

 

 

Professors Emeriti:

 

Prof. Sami Cuperman

CONTROLLED THERMONUCLEAR FUSION: Stable Magnetic Configurations, Aspect-Ratio Dependence of Alfven-Wave Current Drive, NON-Inductive Current Drive via Helicity Injection, Optimization of Transport Suppression Barriers in D-Shaped, Low Aspect Ratio Tokamaks, The Combined Toroidicity, Ellipticity and Triangularity Effects on the Energy Deposition of Alfven Modes in Low Aspect Ratio Tokomaks.

 

Prof. Attay Kovetz

 

Prof. Ben-Zion Kozlovsky

 

Prof. Elia Leibowitz

 

Prof. Tsevi Mazeh

Tsevi Mazeh is Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Tel Aviv University, where he has served as researcher and lecturer since 1979. 
Throughout his career Prof. Tsevi Mazeh has functioned as both theorist and observer. Early on, as far back as his graduate student days at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mazeh became interested in the dynamics of interacting multi-body stellar systems. His PhD dissertation was a theoretical study of the ``induced eccentricity" of an inner stellar binary-pair by a distant bound perturber star. This effect has been observed not only in binary stars, but also in the evolutionary dynamics of the recently discovered planetary systems. Mazeh's early interest and expertise in stellar dynamics played a crucial role in the discovery of extra-solar planets.
In 1984 Mazeh initiated the first ever "radial-velocity" search for extra-solar planets in pursuit of his paradigm-shaking hypothesis that massive planets could exist close to their parent stars, at that time widely believed to be impossible. Mazeh's observations, carried out with Dave Latham (Harvard) and in cooperation with Michel Mayor (Geneva) provided the breakthrough discovery in 1989 of the first known massive candidate for extra-solar planet HD114762b. In 2000, Mazeh led the research and discovery of the planet around the star HD209458, enabling its subsequent detection as the first known transiting (eclipsing) planet.

Mazeh is leading an international effort to detect planets and brown-dwarfs by novel relativistic effects. This research is supported by a highly prestigious 2M euro Advanced Grant awarded to Prof. Mazeh by the European Research Council (ERC) in 2010. Mazeh's team has already detected the first known relativistic beaming planet – Kepler 76.

Prof. Mazeh is a popular writer and public speaker on Astronomy, History of Science, and Science and Religion. He published a book "Introduction to Special Relativity" (2005); Edited, together with Pinchas Leizer, Drishat Shalom - Reading Peace and Justice in the Torah (2010). Hr chaired the left-wing political movement "Netivot Shalom" for five years.

 

Prof. Hagai Netzer

  • Physics and Evolution of Active Galaxies and Quasars

  • Physics and Evolution of Star-forming Galaxies

  • Accretion onto black holes, growth and evolution of massive black holes, accretion disks

  • Physical Processes in Astrophysical Gas and Dust

  • Photometry and Spectroscopy of Various Types of Galaxies in the Infrared, Optical, UV, and X-ray bands.

 

Prof. Yoel Rephaeli

  • Galaxy clusters: formation and evolution of clusters, mass function, distributions of dark matter and gas

  • CMB: SZ Effect, anisotropy induced by the SZ effect as a cosmological probe

  • Cosmology: evolution of structure, determination of cosmological parameters

  • Nonthermal Phenomena: energetic particles and nonthermal radiation in galaxies and clusters

 

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