Born in Riga, Latvia (then part of the Soviet Union), in 1957, Prof. Zeldov immigrated to Israel in 1971 with his parents who had been Prisoners of Zion. He received his BSc and PhD in electrical engineering at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in 1986, and was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering the same year. From 1988 to 1991, he conducted research at the IBM–T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. He returned to Israel and joined the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Condensed Matter Physics in 1992. He is the head of the Gruber Center for Quantum Electronics and the incumbent of the David and Inez Myers Professorial Chair.
Prof. Zeldov is one of the world’s leading experts on superconductors—materials that, at extremely low temperatures, conduct electricity with virtually no resistance. His work focuses specifically on high-temperature superconductivity, a field that fascinate scientists both because of the basic open research questions and because these materials may one day be used in many areas, from building levitating trains to manufacturing superfast computers. Recently, Prof. Zeldov and his group developed the smallest Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) that resides on a nanoscale sharp tip, the most sensitive device for measuring local magnetic fields. Moreover, this SQUID-on-tip acts as a scanning nano-thermometer, providing thermal imaging of quantum systems with record sensitivity—ten thousand times more sensitive than any other thermal imaging technique.
He is a recipient of the prestigious H. Kamerlingh Onnes Prize (2003). In 2008, he was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society and in 2009 as a fellow of the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. He was awarded the Landau Prize of Mifal Hapais for Exact Sciences in 2012. In 2019 he was awarded the Abrikosov Prize, the Weizmann Prize for Exact Sciences by the Tel Aviv Municipality, and the Deloro Prize by the Adelis Foundation.
Prof. Zeldov is married and has four children.