Comprehensive coverage

Two researchers from the field of astrophysics jointly win the prestigious award for young physicists on behalf of the Israel Physics Society

Dr. Ehud Naker from the Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Avishai Gal-Yam from the Weizmann Institute (a graduate of Tel Aviv University) received an award for their original contributions to research on cosmic explosions

Gamma ray bursts. Image: NASA
Gamma ray bursts. Image: NASA

Two researchers from the end of astrophysics have jointly won the Israel Physics Society prize intended for young physicists - who completed their doctorates in the last decade. The two are Dr. Ehud Naker from the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Avishai Gal-Yam from the Weizmann Institute, whose doctorate he did at the School of Physics and Astronomy in Tel Aviv. The prize was awarded to them at the Israel Physics Society conference held today at Tel Aviv University.

The two research the field of astrophysics at high energies. An example of this is the conditions that prevail at the end of the lives of very large stars when they collapse in on themselves, releasing enormous energy and ending their lives as neutron stars and black holes. Neker studies these phenomena from the theoretical aspect, while Gal-Yam focuses on the observational aspect. The two have signed many joint publications from the time they were postdoctoral fellows in the same department at Caltech.

Dr. Ehud Neker
Dr. Ehud Neker

The judges' committee reasons for the decision: "The 2010 Israel Physics Society Award for a Young Physicist is awarded jointly to Dr. Avishi Gal-Yam and Dr. Ehud Naker for their original contributions to the study of cosmic explosions, supernovae, and gamma ray bursts. Dr. Gal-Yam led observational studies in which he characterized the galaxies hosting different types of explosions and identified for the first time the types of stars that exploded. Dr. Naker made extraordinary theoretical contributions in the analysis of the observations of gamma radiation bursts and especially short variables, and in understanding the physical processes that occur within the shock wave created in the first stages of cosmic explosions."

Ehud Neckar wrote his doctorate at the Hebrew University on gamma ray bursts, the most violent bursts in the universe. During these eruptions, the dying star emits much more energy than our sun will emit in its entire lifetime - about ten billion years. Part of the gravitational energy emitted from the massive star goes out as relativistic jets (jets of energy that move at a speed close to the speed of light). These extreme conditions are rare in the universe, so the radiation reaching us from these sources allows us a unique opportunity to study them.

Gal-Yam wrote his doctoral thesis at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University on the phenomenon of supernovae, which are responsible for the creation of all the heavy elements in the universe - the elements of which the Earth is composed, among other things, and of which living things are composed.

Avishai Gal-Yam
Avishai Gal-Yam

In 2005, the two were partners in an important discovery concerning the different types of gamma ray bursts. Until 2005, astrophysicists suspected that there was a difference in the origin of the long gamma ray bursts (the ones that last about a minute) compared to the short bursts that last for fractions of a second. The observation and the theoretical analyzes that followed it proved that this is indeed the case. Necker explains that the long bursts resulted from the event of a very large star collapsing into a black hole, while the origin of the short bursts is still unknown, but the scientists suspect that they are the product of an extremely rare process of merging two neutron stars into one black hole.

Dr. Necker was recently awarded the prestigious Alon scholarship, awarded by the OT to outstanding young scientists, and before that the "Sherman Fairchild" scholarship of the California Institute of Technology. During his studies he won, among other things, the outstanding student award from the Knesset and a scholarship from the Dan David Foundation. Dr. Gal-Yam recently won the ARCHES scholarship of the German Ministry of Education and Science and the Grover and Levinson scholarships. Before that, he was awarded the prestigious Hubble Fellow of NASA.

2 תגובות

  1. As a former student of Audi, I can wholeheartedly say that he is the best lecturer I have had to date and there is no lecturer who deserves to be appreciated for his discoveries more than him! Congratulations and good luck!

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.