2022 research activities

Head Prof. Elisha Moses

Picture of Prof. Elisha Moses

Prof. Elisha Moses

Office +972-8-934-3139


The Department of Physics of Complex Systems pursues two main directions, Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) physics and the physics of Soft and Biological Matter. Contemporary topics in AMO physics range from atto-second pulses and intense lasers, through precision spectroscopy of ultracold atoms, molecules or ions, to quantum information and quantum optics. Soft and biological physics are characterized by wide ranging complexity that can often be simplified by considering fundamental physical concepts and principles. The Department consists of slightly under 20 groups, of which about two thirds are experimentalists and one third are theoreticians.

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

The AMO groups in the Department of Physics of Complex Systems study a wide variety of topics in nonlinear and quantum optics, atomic and molecular physics. Of interest are the properties of atoms and ions at ultra-cold temperatures where full control of individual atoms and photons is possible and quantum phenomena are manifested. These unique properties can be applied for quantum sensing, simulations and computing and study of new physics. Both theoretical and experimental aspects of Quantum Computation comprise an important and very significant goal of the research.

A particularly rich field of study is that of the interaction of ultrashort optical pulses with atoms, molecules, electrons and solids, which enables the measurement of ultrafast dynamics, allows the acceleration of electrons and protons, and generates new radiation sources for bio-medical applications. In addition, investigations of the geometrical quantum nature of light are conducted, along with its use for simulating general relativity in the lab.

Soft Matter and Biological Physics

The theoretical issues in soft matter cover non-equilibrium processes and aspects of emergent properties, of frustration and of material structure, all of which can be approached using the tools of statistical mechanics coupled with a deep mathematical description of organization in matter. Structures in liquid and organic crystals, as well as in viscoelastic material yield insight on the underlying physical processes and mechanisms. In biological systems, mechanisms that determine the size of cells can be obtained using physics modeling and theoretical concepts. In considering the statistical physics of turbulence, special emphasis is made on broken and emerging symmetries, with important implications for conformal invariance in inverse turbulent cascades and recently for the kinetic and hydrodynamic theory of emerging viscous electronics.

The experimental labs treat such diverse systems as ants, single molecules, neuronal cultures, one dimensional organisms, and even human groups. A unifying theme lies in relating the properties of the constituent parts to those of the emerging whole. Biological computation is treated in social contexts such as ant colonies and in devices comprised of living neurons. Emergent properties such as synchronization of activity, decision making and resource sharing are among the novel phenomena that have been discovered in these systems. Turbulence in viscoelastic media is studied in microfluidic environments.

ScientistsShow details

  • Picture of Dr. Rotem Arnon-Friedman

    Dr. Rotem Arnon-Friedman

    Quantum cryptography
    Device-independent quantum cryptography
    Quantum key distribution
    Certification protocols
    Quantum-proof randomness extractors
    Entanglement theory
    Entanglement certification
    Entanglement as a resource for quantum cryptography

  • Picture of Prof. Nir Davidson

    Prof. Nir Davidson

    Ultracold atoms
    Collaboration with:  Ofer Firstenberg Ephi Sachmoon and Yaov Sagi
    Quantum simulators with neutral atoms in tweezer arrays
    Quantum degenerated atomic gases
    Collaboration with:  Roee Ozeri
    Quantum nonlinear dynamics and chaos
    Laser physics
    Collaboration with:  Asher Friesem, Hui Cao, Oren Raz
    Slow and stored light
    Collaboration with:  Ofer Firstenberg
    Atomic optics and interferometry
    Collaboration with:  Ofer Firstenberg

  • Picture of Prof. Eytan Domany

    Prof. Eytan Domany

    Computational Physics: equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics of spin glasses
    Collaboration with:  A. P. Young (UCSC)
    Development of tools and algorithms for large scale data analysis. Bioinformatics.
    Analysis of high-throughput biological data (in particular, gene expression data)
    Collaboration with:  Several research groups at Weizmann, in the USA and in Europe; see below.
    Controlled experiments on cell lines and mice (with D. Givol, V. Rotter, Y. Groner, L. Sachs; D. Gazit (Hadassa))
    Development of antigen chips, applications for autoimmune diseases (with I. Cohen)
    Studies human cancer samples; leukemia (with E. Canaani; G. Rechavi S. Izraeli (Sheba))
    Colorectal cancer; (with D. Notterman (UMDNJ), F. Barany (Cornell), P. Paty (MSK), A. Levine (Princeton))
    Prostate cancer; (with Z. Eshhar, A. Orr (TA Sourasky));
    Glioblastoma; (with M. Hegi, R. Stupp (CHUV))
    Breast and cervical cancer (with J-P Thiery, F. Radvanyi, X. Sastre, C. Rosty (Inst Curie))

  • Picture of Prof. Efi Efrati

    Prof. Efi Efrati

    Geometrically frustrated assemblies
    Quantifying geometric frustration in physical assemblies
    Geometric frustration in liquid crystals
    Twisted molecular crystals
    Periodic and aperiodic frustrated tesselations of the plane
    Geometry of elastic and anelastic deformations
    Fractional statistics in mixed Hamiltonian systems with non-holonomic constraints

  • Picture of Prof. Gregory Falkovich

    Prof. Gregory Falkovich

    Wave turbulence
    Collaboration with:  Natalia Vladimirova, MIchal Shavit, Vladimir Lebedev
    Theory of fluid turbulence. Fundamental aspects and applications.
    Collaboration with:  Anna Frishman, Vladimir Lebedev, Natalia Vladmirova, Bjorn Hof.
    Information theory and non-equilibrium statistics
    Collaboration with:  Michal Shavit, Natalia Vladimirova
    Viscous Electronics
    Collaboration with:  Leonid Levitov, Andrey Shytov, Andre Geim.

  • Picture of Prof. Victor Malka

    Prof. Victor Malka

    Laser Plasma Accelerators
    Collaboration with:  HZDR in Germany, Ecole Polytechnique in France, and UM from US
    Compact plasma based accelerators of electrons and protons
    Compact plasma based X ray beams
    Gas dynamics for targetry
    Medical applications (radiotherapy, X ray phase contrast imaging)

  • Picture of Dr. Ziv Meir

    Dr. Ziv Meir

    Quantum control of molecules
    Quantum logic
    Molecular qubits
    Precision spectroscopy of molecules
    Beyond-standard-model tests
    Molecular clocks
    Quantum information with molecules

  • Picture of Prof. David Mukamel

    Prof. David Mukamel

    Systems with long-range interactions
    Collaboration with:  S. Ruffo A. Campa
    Collective phenomena in systems far from thermal equilibrium.
    Collaboration with:  S. Majumdar G. Schehr M. Barma A. Kundu
    Coarsening processes and slow dynamics.
    Systems with long range interactions

  • Picture of Dr. Osip Schwartz

    Dr. Osip Schwartz

    Laser-enhanced electron microscopy
    Spatial and temporal shaping of electron wavefunction
    Transmission electron microscopy with laser-based electron optics
    Probing physical vacuum with strong laser fields
    Tabletop photon-photon scattering experiments
    Development of megawatt-class cavities with tightly focused mode

  • Picture of Prof. Joel Stavans

    Prof. Joel Stavans

    Statistical Mechanics
    Single-Molecule Biological Physics.
    RNA interference
    Homologous recombination
    Genetic Networks and Systems Biology
    Regulation of gene expression by small RNAs
    Developmental decision making
    Noise and adaptation

  • Picture of Prof. Victor Steinberg

    Prof. Victor Steinberg

    Physical hydrodynamics, hydrodynamics of complex fluids, dynamics of single flexible micro-objects (molecules, membranes, etc) in complex fluid flows
    Collaboration with:  Prof. G. Falkovich, Prof. V. Lebedev, Prof. Y. Dubief, Prof. H. Stark
    Hydrodynamics of polymer solutions, Elastic turbulence and Turbulent mixing by polymers.
    Hydrodynamics and rheology of complex fluids (vesicle, capsule, worm-like micelle, etc suspensions)
    Dynamics and conformation of single polymer molecule, vesicle, micro-capsule, etc in complex fluid flows.
    Microfluidics: mixing, cell separation, random flows.
    Development of non-invasive local sensors for measurements of stress field in fluid flow