Israeli physicist wins US science medal

Haifa, Israel-born Tel Aviv University (TAU) Prof. (emeritus) Yakir Aharonov is one of only ten scientists who will receive the US National Medal of Science at the White House from President Barack Obama in a few weeks, for his outstanding …

Haifa, Israel-born Tel Aviv University (TAU) Prof. (emeritus) Yakir Aharonov is one of only ten scientists who will receive the US National Medal of Science at the White House from President Barack Obama in a few weeks, for his outstanding contributions in the field.

Aharonov (78), who holds both Israeli and US citizenship, is being honored “for his contributions to the foundations of quantum physics and for drawing out unexpected implications of that field, ranging from the Aharonov-Bohm Effect to the theory of weak measurement.”

A graduate of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Aharonrov discovered the Aharonov-Bohm Effect with the late David Bohm in 1959. The theory involves the action of atomic particles around a magnetic field and is regarded today as one of the cornerstones of modern physics.

Since retiring from TAU, Aharonov has been a professor of theoretical physics and the James J. Farley professor of natural philosophy at Chapman University in California.

He is the recipient of the Wolf Prize (Israel’s Nobel), the Weizmann Prize in Physics, the Rothschild Prize in Physics, the Israel Prize in exact science and the EMET Prize in exact science.

Obama said that “the achievements of the scientists redefined the borders of human knowledge.”