Chemical Physics


Shimon Vega, Head (until November 2010)
The Joseph and Marian Robbins Professorial Chair


Eli Pollak, Head (from December 2010)
The Sam and Ayala Zacks Professorial Chair

The research in the Department of Chemical Physics covers a wide range of interdisciplinary subjects, combining the fields of chemistry, physics and biophysics.

Light-matter interactions (quantum optics) and their applications for quantum information are being investigated theoretically by Gershon Kurizki in periodic structures, cavities, cold atom gases and condensates. A universal strategy, based on electromagnetic pulses, is being developed for effectively combatting decoherence in various quantum systems.

Ilya Averbukh and Yehiam Prior study, both theoretically and experimentally, various aspects of nonlinear optical interactions, including excitation and detection of atomic and molecular wavepackets prepared by shaped femtosecond pulses, nonlinear optical interactions under the tip of a scanning near-field optical microscope, femtosecond laser material processing and molecular alignment and orientation by strong laser fields, atom optics and atom lithography applications.

David J. Tannor is studying, theoretically, femtosecond control of chemical reactions, attosecond control of multielectronic atoms, optimal control of laser cooling, dissipative quantum mechanics and a new formulation of quantum mechanics based on complex trajectories.

The most recent cavity-QED (quantum electodynamics) capabilities with single cold atoms and chip-based microcavities are combined by Barak Dayan to investigate atom-mediated nonlinear photon-photon interactions. These measurements enable the study of single-photon switches, Quantum Non-Demolition (QND) measurements of optical photons and quantum gates.

New and general methods of molecular and atomic cooling are developed by Ed Narevicius. His group is building a magnetic coilgun to decelerate molecular and atomic beams. Cold atoms and molecules will be used to study collisional processes at ultra-low temperatures where quantum effects become dominant.

Ron Naaman is investigating the use of molecules as components in electronic devices and sensors. This includes studying the electronic properties of organized thin molecular films and investigating information transfer through them. The group also studies the interaction of electrons with bio-molecules.

Gilad Haran uses single-molecule fluroescence methods to study conformational dynamics, association and folding of proteins. In addition, his group also uses single-molecule Raman spectroscopy to probe dynamics of individual surface-adsorbed molecules as well as to study plasmonic interactions on the nano-scale.

Single molecule conduction is studied by Oren Tal. Individual molecules are trapped between two metallic electrodes and their electric conductance is measured and related to their structural and dynamic properties. These studies are also an excellent test bed for studying electronic spin transport at the atomic and nanomater scale.

New methods for the computation of real time quantum dynamics in complex systems are developed by Eli Pollak. Applications include ab-initio chemistry, surface scattering, electron transfer, photoinduced processes and more. The fluorescence quenching by electron transfer assisted by diffusion and spin conversion in radical ion pairs as well as for triplet production and annihilation are being studied by Anatoly I. Burshtein within the original integral encounter theory, beyond the rate concept.

Turbulence both in hydrodynamics and in nonlinear wave interactions is investigated by Victor L'vov. Itamar Procaccia's group deals with various phenomena involving complexity in Nature; besides working on turbulence with L'vov, the group studies the properties of amorphous solids. How these solids form via the glass transition and what are the mechanical properties of the resulting amorphous solids, including their modes of failure like fracture, shear banding and plastic flow.

Eran Bouchbinder studies non-equilibrium problems in solid mechanics and materials science, such as breaking and deformation of materials, using tools of statistical and continuum physics while interacting with experimental and computational groups.

Theoretical modeling of cellular shapes and dynamics is studied by Nir Gov. In particular, the unique dynamic features of biological membranes are investigated and a unified model is developed to describe the mechanical properties of the membranes of red-blood cells.

Electron spin resonance (ESR) and double resonance spectroscopic (ENDOR) techniques are developed and applied by Daniella Goldfarb for the characterization of metal active sites in porous inorganic catalysts and metalloenzymes and for the study of the formation mechanism of the mesostructured mesoporus materials. New multidimensional methods of analysis in solution, solid-state and imaging magnetic resonance are also being developed by Lucio Frydman and his group, for the investigation of metabolism, of biomolecular structures and for dynamic elucidations. NMR methodologies are also used by Zeev Luz to investigate ordering and dynamics processes in condensed phases. Recently, Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) Spectroscopy has been applied to enhance the sensitivity of high resolution NMR spectra and to follow metabolic pathways in biological samples. Basic experimental and theoretical aspects of DNP are also investigated. Water induced molecular motions at solvent-surface interfaces inside mesoporous materials are also studied.

Research Staff, Visitors and Students


Ilya Averbukh, Ph.D., USSR Academy of Science Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation
       The Patricia Elman Bildner Professorial Chair of Solid State Chemistry
Lucio Frydman, Ph.D., University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Daniella Goldfarb, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Erich Klieger Professorial Chair of Chemical Physics
Gershon Kurizki, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
       The George W. Dunne Professorial Chair of Chemical Physics
Ron Naaman, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Aryeh and Mintzi Katzman Professorial Chair
Eli Pollak, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
       The Sam and Ayala Zacks Professorial Chair
Yehiam Prior, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, United States
       The Sherman Professorial Chair of Physical Chemistry
Itamar Procaccia, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
       The Barbara and Morris L. Levinson Professorial Professorial Chair in Chemical Physics
David Tannor, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, United States
       The Hermann Mayer Professorial Chair
Shimon Vega, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (on extension of service)
       The Joseph and Marian Robbins Professorial Chair

Professor Emeritus

Zeev Luz, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Associate Professors

Nir Gov, Ph.D., Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Gilad Haran, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       The Hilda Pomeraniec Memorial Professorial Chair

Senior Scientists

Eran Bouchbinder, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       Yigal Allon Fellow
Barak Dayan, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
       Yigal Allon Fellow
       Incumbent of the Joseph and Celia Reskin Career Development Chair
Edvardas Narevicius, Ph.D., Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Oren Tal, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
       Incumbent of the Alvin and Gertrude Levine Career Development Chair

Associate Staff Scientists

Valery Ilyin, Ph.D., Kiev State University
Alexander Milner, Ph.D., Ukrainian Academy of Science, Ukraine (left September 2010)
Anna Pomyalov, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Assistant Staff Scientists

Amos Bardea, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Akiva Feintuch, Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Special Contract

Victor Lvov, Ph.D., Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation

Senior Interns

Rahamim Guliamov, Ph.D., Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Adonis Lupulescu, Ph.D., University of Cluj-Napoca, Napoca, Romania
Mark Vilensky, Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (left August 2010)


Tali Akua
Anatoly Burshtein
Noam Erez (left August 2010)
Gabriel Abraham Frank, National Institutes of Health NCI, Bethesda, MD, USA
Reuven Ianconescu, Shenkar, College of Engineering & Design, Ramat-Gan, Israel
David Petrosyan, Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Forth
Yoav Shrot, Elop, Rehovot, Israel
Arik Yochelis, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel (left July 2010)

Visiting Scientists

Juan Antonio Almendral, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain
Talya Arusi-Parpar, Soreq Nuclear Center, Yavne, Israel
Efim Brener, Juelich Center, Germany
Paul Brumer, University of Toronto, Canada
Yuriy M. Bunkov, CNRS, Grenoble, France
Riccardo Castagna, ENS De Cachan LPQM, France
Sagar Chakraborty
Olivier Dauchot, CEA Saclay, Gif sur Yvette, France
Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, U.S.A.
Uriel Frisch, Observatoire de Nice, France
Giorgio Frossati, Leiden Institute of Physics, Nederland
Ute Goerke
Elad Harel, University of Chicago, Il, U.S.A.
Yong He, Central South University , Changsha, China (P.R)
Hilary George Hentschel, Emory University , Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.
Andrey Kaplan, University of Birmingham, UK
Luiza Kondaurova, Inst. of Thermophysics, Novosibirsk, Russia
Anael Lemaitre
Joseph Manson, Clemson University, U.S.A.
Gnanavel Muthaiyan
Alexander Pechen, Princeton University , NJ, U.S.A.
David Petrosyan, IBM Almaden Rese. Ctr., San Jose, CA, U.S.A.
Alexander Pines, University of California at Berkeley, U.S.A.
Benjamin Schuler
Heinz Georg Schuster, University of Kiel, Germany
Moshe Shapiro
Srinivasan Shekar, University of New-York, U.S.A.
Federico Toschi, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Nederland
Shimon Weiss, UCLA, CA, U.S.A.
Joseph Zyss

Postdoctoral Fellows

Tali Aqua, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Bikash Baishya, Iisc Bangalore, India
Debamalya Banerjee, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Tomer Bar-On, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Laurent Boue, Universite; Paris 6/Ens, Paris
Christian Oliver Bretschneider, University of Nottingham
Eyal Capua, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Holger Cartarius, Universitaet Stuttgart
Leah Beck Casabianca, Georgetown University
Lev Chuntonov, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Vartash Claudia, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Jens Clausen, Ph.D., Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena
Riccardo Conte, Scuola Normale Superiore
Durga Bhaktavatsala Dasari, Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Ratul Dasgupta, Jawaharlal Nehru Center For Advanced Scientific Re
Kevin Donovan, University of California Irvine
Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich, Mpi For The Physics of Complex Systems
Doron Kabaso, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Ny
Smarajit Karmakar, Indian Institute of Science
Yonit Kasherman Kirshenbau, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Royi Kaufmann, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Svetlana Khokhlova, Institute of Chemical Kinetics And Combustion
Michal Kolar, Palacky University Olomouc
Michal Leskes, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Daniel Mohr, Institut Fur Physikalische Chemie, WestfeLische Wi
Jeremy Michael Moix, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
Gregory Lars Olsen, University of Washington
Maria Ott, Ph.D., University of Luebeck
Hubert Marek Piwonski, Ph.D., Institute of Physical Chemistry Pas
Inbal Riven, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Oleksii Rudenko, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Adi Salomon, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Pieter Smith, University of Michigan
Jayanthi Sundaresan, Indian Institute of Science
Zuoti Xie, Fudan University

Research Students

Tali Aqua David Avisar
Asaf Azuri Yohai Bar Sinai
Noam Ben-Eliezer Eyal Benisaac
Guy Bensky Eyal Capua
Sharona Cohen Yossi Cohen
Shauli Daon Amit Davidi
Reuven Eitan Marc Florent
Johannes Leonhard Floss David Andres Gelbwaser Klimovsky
Erez Gershnabel Sasha Gersten
Michal Gordon- Grosman Gilad Gotesman
Talia Harris Tal Honig
Yonatan Hovav Yun Min Jung
Ilia Kaminker Roy Kaner
Royi Kaufmann Yuri Khodorkovsky
Gregory Kopnov Omer Korech
Etay Lavert-Ofir Edan Lerner
Michal Leskes Yulia Lovsky
Nataliia Makedonska Tal Markus
Erez Matalon Moshe Naoz
Menahem Pirchi Marina Radoul
David Rakhmilevich Ido Regev
Serge Rosenblum Oleksii Rudenko
Rita Schmidt Ephraim Shahmoon
Andrey Shalit Itamar Shani
Roie Shlomovitz Itay Shomroni
Yoav Shrot Eddy Solomon
Uri Steinitz Anand Kumar Tatikonda
Maria Tkachev Shira Weissman
Noa Zamstein Nir Zohar
Jacques Zylberg


Varda Katzir