Yakir Aharonov (Hebrew: יקיר אהרונוב; born on August 28, 1932) 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 and a professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He is president of the IYAR, The Israeli Institute for Advanced Research.
|Known for||Aharonov–Bohm effect|
Two-state vector formalism
|Awards||National Medal of Science (2009)|
Wolf Prize (1998)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1991)
Tel Aviv University
University of South Carolina
George Mason University
|Doctoral advisor||David Bohm|
|Doctoral students||David Albert|
He is the uncle of Dorit Aharonov.
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.
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. Working with Aharon Casher, they predicted the Aharonov–Casher effect, the electrodynamic dual of the Aharonov–Bohm effect with magnetic dipoles and charges.
- 1960–1961: Research Associate, Brandeis University
- 1961–1964: Assistant Professor, Yeshiva University
- 1964–1967: Associate Professor, Yeshiva University
- 1967–1973: Joint professorship at Tel Aviv University and Yeshiva University
- 1973–2006: Joint professorship at Tel Aviv University and the University of South Carolina
- 2006–2008: Professor at George Mason University
- 2008–present: Professor of Theoretical Physics and the James J. Farley Professor of Natural Philosophy at Chapman University
Awards and recognitionEdit
- 1978: Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society
- 1984: Weizmann Prize in Physics
- 1984: Rothschild Prize in Physics
- 1989: Israel Prize in exact science
- 1990: Elected to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
- 1991: The Elliott Cresson Medal – The 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
- 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 his work's influence on quantum physics.
- 2010: National Medal of Science (2009), awarded and presented by President Barack Obama
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