Prof. Dan Maoz

ביה"ס לפיזיקה ואסטרונומיה סגל אקדמי בכיר


Prof. Dan Maoz works on a range of topics in Galactic and extragalactic observational astrophysics, including: discovery and characterization of extrasolar planets, mainly via gravitational microlensing; stellar remnants (white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes), the debris of their planetary systems, their binary companions (constituting potential gravitational wave sources and the progenitor systems of supernovae); progenitors, rates, and physics of supernovae as a function of cosmic time and environment; the nature of fast radio bursts; Milky Way chemical evolution; galaxy clusters; and super-massive black holes in galactic nuclei, both actively accreting and quiescent.


Research achievements include: multiple measurements of the explosion rates of supernovae over a range of cosmic times and environments; analysis of those rates, supporting a double-white-dwarf merger origin for Type-Ia supernovae, and providing essential input on supernova element yields for understanding Galactic and cosmic chemical evolution; the first controlled microlensing planet-search experiment, yielding the frequency and separation distribution of extrasolar snowline-region planets; first precise characterization of the Milky Way's population of double white dwarfs, their gravitational-wave-driven merger rate, and their viability as progenitors of Type-Ia supernovae; discovery of low-level periodic photometric modulation in many white dwarfs, and a UV study of its connection to the accretion of planetary debris. 


Future directions include: using the massive data sets from new astronomical facilities (Gaia, TESS, SDSS-V, JWST, Euclid, WFIRST) for order-of-magnitude improvements in the measurement precision and accuracy in all of the above topics.


  • B.Sc., Tel-Aviv University, 1985

  • Ph.D., Tel-Aviv University, 1990

Academic Appointments

  • Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1990-1993

  • Senior Lecturer, Tel-Aviv University, 1993-1998

  • Associate Professor, Tel-Aviv University, 1998-2004

  • Full Professor, Tel-Aviv University, 2004-Present

  • Director, Wise Observatory, 1998-2000, 2012-present

  • Chair, Astrophysics Dept., 2008-2012

  • Chair, School of Physics and Astronomy, 2015-2019

Awards and Prizes

  • Chambliss Award, American Astronomical Society, 2009

  • George S. Wise Chair in Physics and Astronomy 2015-present

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