Abraham Edek Blaugrund, known as Edek, was an outstanding and influential experimental physicist in Israel, in the fields of nuclear and plasma physics. He would tackle the most complex and challenging of problems, while devising for them original and appropriate experimental methods. Edek had the highest regard for properly carrying out experiments and for credible and reliable results. Always full of energy and determination, he would follow tirelessly all the details of the experiment saying that “There are no unimportant details”. Edek also dealt with theoretical and computational aspects.

was born in Poland in 1930 and was only nine when the Second World War broke out. The family in Poland decided that the best means of surviving was that they split. Edek lived in hiding with his mother under false documents, studying with private tutors. When the war ended, Edek and the surviving members of his family settled in Holland. Here Edek enrolled in high school with an extended European curriculum. At this time Edek became a Zionist, planning to live in Israel and taking up the study of Hebrew. Following this, Edek studied physics at Deft University, while also chairing the Zionist student group for a few years.

After completing his studies at Delft, Edek, recruited by Amos de Shalit, joined the newly established physics department at the Weizmann Institute in order to pursue a PhD degree. Here Edek was basically working alone but with his formal thesis advisor in Holland. Also at that time, in the 1950-s, there were few off the shelf equipment that could be purchased. Nevertheless, Edek produced a PhD that was a true tour de force, devising a novel and complex experimental method, that he called the microwave method, for measuring very short nuclear lifetimes.

After completing his PhD in 1960, he continued his work in nuclear physics with emphasis on the measurements of nuclear lifetimes. In 1965, he spent a very productive year at Argonne National Laboratory.

In 1968, Edek’s research took a sharp turn moving in the direction of applied research and to plasma physics. He was responsible for installing a pulsed intense electron beam machine and heading a group engaged in plasma physics research using this machine. It was within this discipline that Edek performed his milestone investigation of the relativistic electron pinching in a high power diode and the discovery of the formation of the neutralizing ion beam.

Edek was committed to the defense and security of Israel. For decades, he had close ties with various defense programs and made significant scientific and technical contributions.

He was also a man of culture interested and very knowledgeable of art, music, literature and culinary. This was probably due in part to his Dutch upbringing, which imparted in him a European cultural influence.

Edek passed away in Rehovot in 2019, he was survived by his wife Ruth and three children, Prof. Michal Irani, Dr. Eran Blaugrund and Tamar Blaugrund.