Prof. Rennan Barkana

חוג לפיזיקה ואסטרונומיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Rennan Barkana
Phone: 03-6405993
External phone: 03-6405993
Fax: 03-6408179
Office: Kaplun, 111


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 probe 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 (published in 2014) 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. In 2018 he showed that an observation of radio waves from the formation time of the first stars in the Universe shows that dark matter cooled the early cosmic gas. If this discovery is confirmed by further measurements, it will be a milestone in physics, the first direct detection of the mysterious dark matter that makes up most of the matter in the Universe.


  • B.A. in Physics and Math, University of Pennsylvania, 1993

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1997

Academic Appointments

  • Postdoctoral Member, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ, USA), 1997-2000

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (Toronto, Canada), 2000-2001

  • Senior Lecturer, Tel Aviv University, 2001-2009

  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Tokyo (Japan), 2007-2008

  • Moore Distinguished Scholar, Caltech (CA, USA), 2008

  • Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, 2009 – 2015

  • Lagrange Award winner, Institut D'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), France, 2015

  • Leverhulme Visiting Professor, and Visiting Fellow of Mansfield College, University of Oxford, UK, 2015-2016

  • Visiting Professor, The Perimeter Institute, Canada

  • Professor, Tel Aviv University, 2015-present

  • Head of the Department of Astrophysics, Tel Aviv University, 2016-present

Awards and Prizes

  • B.A. Summa Cum Laude (and with honors), University of Pennsylvania, 1993

  • Compton Fellowship, MIT, 1993-1995

  • Alon Fellowship, Israeli Council of Higher Education, 2001-2004

  • Moore Distinguished Scholar, Caltech (CA, USA), 2008

  • Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2007-2008

  • Lagrange Award, Institute Lagrange de Paris (ILP), France, 2015

  • Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, Leverhulme Trust (UK), 2015

  • Visiting Fellowship, Mansfield College, University of Oxford (UK)

Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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