2024 research activities

Head Prof. Lucio Frydman

Picture of Prof. Lucio Frydman

Prof. Lucio Frydman

משרד +972-8-934-4903

רקע כללי

The Chemical and Biological Physics Department provides an interdisciplinary home to a broad range of topics spanning Physics, Chemistry and Biology. The Department is composed by over 20 tenured and tenure-track physicists and chemists, evenly split between theorists and experimentalists, and working on the following broad areas

Fundamental quantum frontiers are explored with advanced theoretical tools, including topics in the quantum control of atomic and molecular dynamics (Ilya Averbukh, Eli Pollak, David Tannor); light-matter interactions (Ilya Averbukh, Gershon Kurizki, David Tannor, Efi Shahmoon); fundamental issues in quantum information, control and thermodynamics (Gershon Kurizki, David Tannor, Efi Shahmoon); ab-initio quantum chemistry and surface scattering (Eli Pollak); and real time quantum dynamics methods (Eli Pollak, David Tannor).

The department has a strong program at the interface between classical physics, chemistry and biology. Eran Bouchbinder studies the plasticity of disordered systems, glassy phenomena, dynamic fracture, frictional interfaces and biophysics. Itamar Procaccia studies turbulence, as well as the physics of fractals, glass formation and mechanical properties of amorphous systems. Theoretical biological physics is the main thrust of research of Nir Gov, who models with predictive power emerging phenomena ranging from cellular shapes to the collective behavior of insects. Samuel Safran employs statistical thermodynamics to study the structure, phase behavior and dynamics of soft matter in biology. 

The chemistry/biology interface is also studied and evaluated experimentally by Roy Bar-Ziv, who develops and explores living-like systems in cell-free environments, and by Michael Elbaum, who employs advanced microscopic tools to elucidate the complex behavior of cells and biomolecules.

Experimental atomic and molecular spectroscopies are also mainstays of the Department. Quantum optics is the focus of Barak Dayan’s experiments on atom mediated photon-photon interactions. Light matter interaction, nonlinear laser spectroscopy and plasmonics are the focus of the experimental research of Yehiam Prior. Edvardas Narevicius is a leader in using magnetic field control and the slowing down of molecular beams to study quantum effects in sympathetically cooled systems. Oren Tal has developed unique methods for the study of single molecule conductors, including electronic, spintronic and thermal conductivity effects. Molecular electronics and spin-chemistry are also main themes of research for Ron Naaman, who investigates these using organic-inorganic interfaces via self-assembled monolayers. Single molecule spectroscopy and its application to a broad range of topics, from protein dynamics to nanoplasmonics, are at the center of the experimental program of Gilad Haran.  Baran Eren exploits new forms of microscopy and spectroscopy, to understand the chemistry and electronic behavior of solid surfaces under relevant conditions with unprecedented accuracy.

A centerpiece of the combined experimental/theoretical program in the Department rests on Magnetic Resonance researchAmit Finkler bridges this topic with optics, in a program relying on optically-detected magnetic resonance as an emerging form of quantum sensing.Lucio Frydman and his group focus on developing and utilizing new concepts and techniques in NMR and MRI, with applications ranging from Physics to Biology and Medicine. Assaf Tal's group focuses on developing new spectroscopy and imaging tools for understanding the brain's physiology in-vivo. Shimon Vega and Daniella Goldfarb are developing and utilizing dynamic nuclear polarization methods for NMR and EPR research, with the Vega group also deeply involved in solid state NMR, and the Goldfarb research also focused on multiple-resonance high-field EPR techniques applied to biophysics and materials science.

The diverse interests as represented above have created an atmosphere of outstanding scientific creativity. Members of the Department have overlapping interests and collaborations among themselves, with other scientists throughout the Weizmann Institute, and with scientists throughout the world.  New training opportunities for students and postdocs are always emerging, at whose conclusion participating scientists will have been exposed to a broad spectrum of challenges and acquired state-of-the-art knowledge. If you are interested in joining this elite group of researchers as a M.Sc., Ph.D or postdoctoral trainee, do not hesitate to contact the expert(s) of your choice.

ScientistsShow details

  • Picture of Prof. Ilya Averbukh

    Prof. Ilya Averbukh

    Manipulation of atoms and molecules by laser fields
    Laser control of molecular alignment and orientation. Control of chiral molecules
    Echo phenomenon
    Atomic and molecular wave packets, ultra-fast optical phenomena.

  • Picture of Prof. Roy Bar-Ziv

    Prof. Roy Bar-Ziv

    Artificial biochemical circuits
    Cell-free gene expression on a chip
    Cell-free expression of protein nano-structures
    Autonomous interrogation of the state of a living cell
    The physics of microfluidic crystals

  • Picture of Prof. Eran Bouchbinder

    Prof. Eran Bouchbinder

    Material failure dynamics
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Alain Karma (Northeastern University, USA) Prof. Jay Fineberg (Hebrew University, Israel)
    Physics of sliding friction
    Collaboration with:  Dr. Efim Brener (Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany) Prof. Jean-François Molinari (EPFL, Switzerland)
    Glass physics
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Edan Lerner (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
    Plasticity of amorphous systems
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Chris Rycroft (Harvard University, USA) Prof. Edan Lerner (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) Prof. Jan Schroers (Yale University, USA)
    Biophysics and cell mechanics
    Collaboration with:  Prof. Haguy Wolfenson (Technion, Israel)

  • Picture of Prof. Barak Dayan

    Prof. Barak Dayan

    Experimental Quantum Optics
    Cavity QED with single atoms coupled to chip-based micro-resonators
    Nonclassical photon-photon interactions

  • Picture of Prof. Michael Elbaum

    Prof. Michael Elbaum

    Cellular Biophysics and Molecular Transport Machines
    Single-molecule manipulations using optical tweezers.
    Dynamics of DNA uptake into the cell nucleus.
    Structure and function of the nuclear pore complex (with Z. Reich): application of atomic force microscopy and advanced optical spectroscopies.
    Anomalous diffusion in polymer networks and living cells (with R. Granek).
    Organization of forces driving cell movements (with A. Bershadsky): optical force measurements and particle tracking studies; influence of cell biochemistry on biophysical forces.
    Novel surface-patterning lithographies.

  • Picture of Dr. Baran Eren

    Dr. Baran Eren

    Following surface reactions with ambient pressure XPS and polarisation modulated IRRAS
    Atomic structure of surfaces in the presence of reactant gases
    Developing new techniques to bridge the 'material gap' and the 'pressure gap' between surface science and industrial processes

  • Picture of Dr. Amit Finkler

    Dr. Amit Finkler

    ›Quantum-assisted sensing, from the single-spin limit to coherent, macroscopic objects
    ›Nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging of molecules
    ›Observation of quantum coherence in chemical reactions
    Collaboration with:  Durga Dasari, University of Stuttgart
    Hybrid platforms: Molecular qubits and NV qubits
    Collaboration with:  Danna Freedman, Northwestern University
    Hybrid platforms: NV qubits, phonons and superconducting qubits
    Collaboration with:  Michael Stern, Bar-Ilan University Eyal Buks, Technion

  • Picture of Prof. Lucio Frydman

    Prof. Lucio Frydman

    Development of new methods in nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging analysis.
    In vitro and in vivo hyperpolarized NMR and MRI
    Application of novel magnetic resonance methods to the study of cancer, fetal development, protein folding and unfolding.

  • Picture of Prof. Nir Gov

    Prof. Nir Gov

    Research of collective quantum effects in Super-fluid, solid and super-solid Helium. Including magnetic phase transitions in solid and liquid helium.
    The physics of large scale pattern formation of cells in cellular cultures, in morphogenesis and wound-healing.
    Theoretical problems in biological physics; active processes in cells involving molecular motors.
    Theoretical studies and modelling of the physics that determines the shapes and dynamics of cells.

  • Picture of Prof. Gilad Haran

    Prof. Gilad Haran

    Functional Dynamics of Proteins
    Collaboration with:  Amnon Horovitz, Weizmann, Ron Naaman, Weizmann, Axel Mogk, University of Heidelberg, George Stan, University of Cincinnati
    Membrane Organization and Dynamics
    Collaboration with:  Ronen Alon, Weizmann, Frank Brown, UCSB, Andres Alcover, Pasteur Institute
    Correlated motion in the membrane plan
    Super-resolution microscopy of the organization of receptors on the membrane of the T cell
    Interaction of surface plasmons with quantum emitters
    Collaboration with:  Ora Bitton, Weizmann, Lothar Houben, Weizmann, Lev Chuntonov, Technion, Javier Aizpurua, San Sebastian
    Strong coupling of plasmons and quantum dots

  • Picture of Prof. Gershon Kurizki

    Prof. Gershon Kurizki

    Quantum optics of cold atoms .
    Superluminal effects in optics.
    Quantum and nonlinear optics in photonic band gap structures.
    Control of quantum states and decoherence.

  • Picture of Prof. Ron Naaman

    Prof. Ron Naaman

    Spin selectivity in electrons transmission through chiral molecules
    Collaboration with:  Yossi Paltiel, Hebrew University David H. Waldeck, University of Pittsburghm USA Claudio Fontanessi, Modena University, Italy E. W. Meijer, Eindhoven, Netherland Michael Therien, Duke University, USA Moh El Naggar, USC, USA Jonas Fransson, Uppsala, Sweden
    electron transfer in bio-molecules
    spin selective electron transfer
    spin dependent electrochemistry
    spintronics with chiral molecules
    enantio-selective interaction
    Spin effect in water splitting

  • Picture of Prof. Yehiam Prior

    Prof. Yehiam Prior

    Strong field nonlinear optics.
    Alignment and orientation of atoms and molecules in strong laser fields.
    Collaboration with:  Ilya Averbukh
    Molecular Dynamics with ultrashort shaped femtosecond pulses.
    femtosecond laser material processing

  • Picture of Prof. Itamar Procaccia

    Prof. Itamar Procaccia

    Ageing in disordered materials
    Collaboration with:  George Hentschel, Bhanu Bhowmik, Harish Charan
    Mechanical properties and instabilities in amorphus solids
    Collaboration with:  Valery Ilyin, George Hentschel, Prasenjit Das, Chandana Mondal, Saikat Roy, Avanish Kumar
    Fractal Growth Patterns.
    Collaboration with:  Eviatar B. Procaccia, Arik Yochelis
    Denisty of States in amorphous solid
    Collaboration with:  Avanish Kumar, Prasenjit Das
    Turbulence in classical and in quantum fluids
    Collaboration with:  Victor L'vov, Anna Pomyalov

  • Picture of Prof. Samuel Safran

    Prof. Samuel Safran

    Biological Physics - mesoscale theory
    Collaboration with:  Dennis Discher, Univ. Pennsylvania - DNA damage in migrating cells as a model of metastasis. Talila Volk, Weizmann Institute - muscle cells and nuclear deformation. Gary Karpen, Berekely - phase separation in the cellular nucleus: experiments; Frank Juilicher - MPI Dresden - phase separation theory. Prof. Zheng Gang Wang - CalTech - thoery of polymer interactions applied to chromosome ovelap. Tony Hyman - MPI Dresden - phase separation in cells.
    Soft matter physics - theory
    Cell cytoskeletal mechanics - theory
    Mesoscale chromatin organization - theory
    Cell shape and volume - theory
    Phase separation and condensates in cells - theory

  • Picture of Dr. Ephraim Shahmoon

    Dr. Ephraim Shahmoon

    Quantum optics theory, quantum science
    Collective light-matter interactions
    Quantum science and technology
    Quantum fluctuation forces
    Cold atoms
    waveguide QED, cavity QED

  • Picture of Prof. David Tannor

    Prof. David Tannor

    Control of chemical reactions with tailored femtosecond pulses.
    Laser cooling of molecules.
    Quantum theory of dissipation and chemical reactions in solution.
    Semiclassical theory of reactive scattering.