Research Labs

updated: 03.10.2017
The experimental nuclear physics laboratory
The experimental nuclear physics laboratory

In the experimental nuclear physics laboratory we design, develop and test detectors for various nuclear physics experiments. To this end, we use cutting-edge techniques for particle detection and identification, and hardware and software for control, readout and data acquisition and analysis.  The detectors and electronics that we build and develop are consequently shipped and installed in various facilities, where we operate them in order to perform numerous nuclear physics studies, as described below.

We study the structure of nucleons, nuclei (both stable and exotic), big nuclear systems such as neutron stars, and the strong interaction between nucleons and within them, by performing high-energy measurements in international leading particle accelerators, and low-energy high-intensity measurements at SARAF, in Soreq NRC. Our fields of research include:

  • The proton radius puzzle, which involves recent inconsistencies in the measured proton radius. We address this puzzle by simultaneously measuring electron and muon scattering off protons at PSI (Switzerland).
  • The study of nucleons behavior and properties when they are very close to each other and their wave-functions overlap, by lepton and hadron scattering off nucleons in nuclei, at large momentum transfer in JLAB (USA), GSI (Germany) JINR (Russia).
  • Study of neutrino nucleus interaction at FNAL (USA).
  • The abundance of elements in our universe, a quest which we address by measuring the properties of exotic nuclei at GSI (Germany).
  • And more…

Our group study ultrafast phenomena at nanoscale resolution. In particular we explore ultrafast energy harvesting pathways of hot carriers following the plasmonic decay in plasmonic nanostructures and 2D materials.  By combining scanning probe microscopy with ultrashort laser pulse excitation, a unique way to access simultaneously small length and time scales that allow to study electronic, vibrational, and structural excitations in matter, offering novel route to perform active coherent control of quantum dynamics. In parallel, we perform fundamental and applied research on nonlinear interactions of intense ultrashort light with metamaterials, which have exotic optical properties. We also explore theoretical aspects in geometric control theory beyond the limitations posed by the existing linear mathematical theories, expanding our control capabilities toward nonlinear interaction and extreme ultrashort dynamics. Our lab will be equipped with near field scattering optical microscope as well as state-of-the-art ultrashort lasers (such as the recently few-cycle mid-IR source).

The scientific research deals with a wide variety of the physical phenomena at low temperatures. Currently the research is focused on superconductivity, magnetic order and strong spin-orbit interaction related phenomena in hetero-structures, interfaces and topologically protected materials.


The Wise Observatory is a professional astronomical research facility owned and operated by Tel-Aviv University. The observatory is located near Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev desert. It is equipped with a 1-m diameter telescope, a number of smaller automated telescopes, as well as instrumentation for geological and atmospheric research. For over 40 years, the Wise Observatory has been steadily outputting cutting-edge astronomical research, much of it taking advantage of the clear desert skies and the favorable geographic longitude of the site. These enable tracking transient and time-variable phenomena when it is daytime at most other observatories on Earth.

Radiation Detection Physics Laboratories
Radiation Detection Physics Laboratories

Radiation detectors are crucial for a wide range of fields from nuclear and particle physics as well as in medical examinations, biology, and safety devices. The laboratory develops, constructs and tests detectors using new technologies that provide rapid, precise detection of particles for high energy physics experiments. These detectors are used in experiments at international laboratories involving teams from TAU. Gaseous ionization systems and state of the art electronic readout and data acquisition systems are used to operate and analyze the data at various stages of R & D. The laboratories are equipped with a clean room and devices for testing solid-state detectors as well as a large muon hodoscope. The laboratory is collaborating on the development of a novel plasma panel screen based technique to detect various sources of radiation. This technology has important potential applications in homeland security as well as for medical scanning and cancer therapy.

The experimental biophysics laboratory studies the forces and interactions governing the self-assembly of biomolecules into functional nanoscopic structures. This research field associates soft-matter physics, biology, biochemistry and materials science. In particular, work is done on the organizational principles of cytoskeleton proteins, intrinsically disordered proteins, membranes, lipid and protein nano-complexes. We combine biochemical techniques to isolate and express products. Studies in the lab have contributed to advancing microscopic and biophysical techniques such as small angle X-ray scattering that is used to characterize structures and the laws governing intermolecular forces.

Research at the Nonlinear Optics Lab deals with the effect of nonlinear processes on the propagation of light in transparent media, and in particular on the fluid-like propagation of coherent laser light in waveguides filled with a self-defocusing medium. The analogy of this process to the flow of a compressible fluid makes possible the construction of an analog optical event horizon, in which the optical fluid accelerates beyond its analog “sound” velocity. This analog horizon is expected to give rise to spontaneous emission of radiation similar to Hawking radiation from black holes. Other experiments in the lab in the field of quantum optics involve “weak measurements” and demonstrate quantum paradoxes related to the paths that photons “choose” inside nested interferometers. The lab is equipped with several laser sources, optical detectors, and various optical and electronic instruments.

The laboratory studies systems in which the electrons cannot be described as a gas of free particles. In particular, we are interested in low dimensional systems such as quantum wires and two-dimensional systems formed at the interface between insulators, unconventional superconductors and topological insulators and superconductors. The laboratory is equipped with a pulsed laser deposition facility, a cryogenic station (0.3K-400K) mounted in a 14 Tesla magnet, an ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscope with a vector magnet and nano-lithography facilities for sample fabrication.

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