Yakir Aharonov

Yakir Aharonov
Born (1932-08-28) 28 August 1932
Haifa, British Mandate of Palestine
Residence United States
Nationality Israeli
Fields Physicist
Institutions Perimeter Institute
Chapman University
Tel Aviv University
University of South Carolina
George Mason University
Brandeis University
Yeshiva University
Alma mater Technion
Bristol University
Doctoral advisor David Bohm
Doctoral students Avi Marchewka
David Albert
Avshalom Elitzur
Lev Vaidman
Sandu Popescu
Known for Aharonov–Bohm effect
Weak values
Two-state vector formalism
Notable awards National Medal of Science (2009)
Wolf Prize (1998)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1991)
He is the uncle of Dorit Aharonov.

Yakir Aharonov (Hebrew: יקיר אהרונוב; born on August 28, 1932)[1] is an Israeli physicist specializing in quantum physics. He is a Professor of Theoretical Physics and the James J. Farley Professor of Natural Philosophy at Chapman University in California. He is also a distinguished professor in the Perimeter Institute[2] and a professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He is president of the IYAR, The Israeli Institute for Advanced Research.[3]


Yakir Aharonov was born in Haifa. He received his undergraduate education at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, graduating with a BSc in 1956. He continued his graduate studies at the Technion and then moved to Bristol University, UK together with his doctoral advisor David Bohm, receiving a PhD degree in 1960.

Academic career

His research interests are nonlocal and topological effects in quantum mechanics, quantum field theories and interpretations of quantum mechanics. In 1959, he and David Bohm proposed the Aharonov–Bohm effect for which he co-received the 1998 Wolf Prize.

In 1988 Aharonov et al. published their theory of weak values. This work was motivated by Aharonov's long time quest to experimentally verify his theory that apparently random events in quantum mechanics are caused by events in the future (two-state vector formalism). Verifying a present effect of a future cause requires a measurement, which would ordinarily destroy coherence and ruin the experiment. He and his colleagues claim that they were able to use weak measurements and verify the present effect of the future cause.

2008–Present: Professor of Theoretical Physics and the James J. Farley Professor of Natural Philosophy at Chapman University

2006–2008: Professor at George Mason University

1973–2006: Joint professorship at the Tel Aviv University, Israel and the University of South Carolina, America

1967–1973: Joint professorship at the Tel Aviv University, Israel and the Yeshiva University, USA

1964–1967: Associate Professor, Yeshiva University, USA

1961–1964: Assistant Professor, Yeshiva University, USA

1960–1961: Research Associate, Brandeis University, USA

Awards and recognition

1978: Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society[4]

1984: Weizmann Prize in Physics

1984: Rothschild Prize in Physics

1989: Israel Prize in exact science[5]

1990: Elected to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

1991: The Elliott Cresson MedalThe Franklin Institute

1992: Honorary Doctor of Science, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

1993: Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA

1993: Honorary Doctor of Science, University of South Carolina, USA

1995: Hewlett–Packard Europhysics Prize

1997: Honorary Doctor of Science, Bristol University, UK

1998: Wolf Prize in Physics[6]

1999: Honorary Doctor of Science, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

2006: EMET Prize in Exact Science

In 2009, the information service Thomson Reuters named Aharonov as leading candidate for the 2009 Nobel prize in physics, based on the influence of his work on quantum physics.[7]

2010: National Medal of Science, awarded and presented by President Barack Obama. [8]

See also


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