The Albert Einstein Minerva Center for Theoretical Physics


Mordehai Milgrom, Director
The Isidor I. Rabi Professorial Chair of Physics

The Albert Einstein MINERVA Center for Theoretical Physics was established in 1980 with the generous donation of an endowment fund from the Bundes Ministerium für Forschung und Technologie (BMFT) of the Federal Republic of Germany, through the joint committee for German Israeli Scientific Cooperation (Minerva). The main emphasis of the Center is to foster high level research in theoretical physics, while promoting cooperation among German and Israeli theorists. The Center supports human contact activities, such as theoretical physicists visiting from abroad, and consultants working with different theory groups at The Weizmann Institute. The Center also supports, partially or fully, small topical meetings and workshops. Naturally, most of the activity of the Center is related to research projects based at the Faculty of Physics, but considerable support has also been lent to appropriate projects in the Faculty of Chemistry and, to a lesser extent, in the Faculty of Mathematics. The support from the Center plays an important role in almost all the research in theoretical physics at the Institute.

Visiting Theoretical Physicists

During 2010 we supported 51 visitors who came to the Institute to collaborate and to give lectures. The visitors came from Germany (7), United States (21), UK (5), France (4), Canada (3), Japan (2), Spain (2), India (2), Switzerland (2), Italy (1) , Austria (1) and Colombia(1).

The Advisors (Associate Membership) Program

The advisors are theoretical physicists, with appointments in other academic institutes in Israel, who come to the Weizmann Institute for up to 1 day per week for part or the whole of the academic year. They collaborate with scientists from the Weizmann Institute and give lectures here. Much joint work results.

In 2010, three advisors were in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics, five in the Department of Particle Physics, and four in the Department of Complex Systems. The advisors for Condensed Matter Physics were Prof. Amnon Aharony, Prof. Ora Entin-Wohlman, and Prof. Yigal Meir, all from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The advisors for Particle Physics were Dr. Yosef Babichenko, Dr. Roman Dovgard, Prof. Amit Giveon, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Marek Karliner, Prof. Jacob Sonnenschein, Tel Aviv University. The advisors for Complex Systems were Prof. Eliezer Rabinovici, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Prof. Shimon Yankielowicz, Tel Aviv University, Dr. Yariv Kafri, Technion, and Prof. Ido Kanter, Bar-Ilan University.

Center supported conferences (2010):

Physics 2Life, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 23.05.2010 - 27.05.2010

Physics Students Open Day - Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 28.02.2010

Quantum Decoherence & Thermodynamics Control- Safed, Israel, 25.08.2010-30.03.2010

Einstein Colloquia

In celebration of Einstein's Annum Mirabilis centennial, a special series of physics colloquia, the "Einstein Colloquia", was initiated and supported by the center. The colloquia were given by distinguished physicists, describing recent progress in research related to Einstein's great contributions of 1905.

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (College de France and Ecole Normale Superieure, Laboratoire Kastler Brossel), "Ultracold Atoms A Model System for New Ivestigations in Physics"

Nicholas Read (Physics Department and Applied Physics Department, Yale University), "Topological Phases of Matter: from Complexity to Simplicity"