PHYSICS


PHYSICS
The material presented in this entry emphasizes those contributions which were important in arriving at verified present-day scientific results, rather than those that may have appeared important at the time. Unavoidably it will overlap in parts with material presented in the separate astronomy entry. -Introduction Though rich, innovative, and highly creative, the Jewish intellectual contribution to civilization was initially an essentially humanistic and non-scientific "program," staying that way for more than 25 centuries, from the Patriarchs and Moses in the second millennium B.C.E. in the eastern Mediterranean to the great Jewish astronomers in the 10th–15th centuries C.E. at the other end of that sea. There was one exception, namely a marginal interest in astronomy, the "intercalation" sub-program motivated by repeated efforts aimed at the construction of an ever-improved calendar. Technically, this was a quest for better synchronization between the agriculturally important solar year and the timekeeping advantages of the lunar month, an aim which was indeed achieved in the   present Jewish calendar, finalized by the end of the first century C.E. It was only in the 10th century C.E. that a major change appears to have occurred involving the Jewish communities in Europe along the western Mediterranean, from the Iberian Peninsula and southern France to Italy, with science gradually approaching (but not achieving) the status of Torah studies. These regions constituted the interface between the crystallizing Christian national dynastic states of the western Roman Empire, as parceled out by its Germanic conquerors, and the Ummayad and Abbasid caliphates and other Muslim states established in Northern Africa. The Jewish interest in science was part of a general regional reawakening some four centuries after the almost complete eradication of Greek science with its remarkable achievements over the one thousand years from Pythagoras to Diophantus – e.g., the realization that the earth is round and measurement of its radius by Erathostenes with a better than 0.5% precision, the understanding by Aristarchus of Samos of the heliocentric structure of our planetary system 1,800 years before Copernicus, or Archimedes' derivation of the laws of mechanics and hydrostatics – just to mention three examples from the third century B.C.E. All this would have been lost forever upon the closure of the Academy in Athens on the orders of Justinian in 550 C.E., if not for the transplantation of nine Academy scholars with some of their documentation to Mesopotamia at the invitation of Persian emperor Khushru Anushirvan and the founding of an academy outside of Christianity's reach. The institution survived the Muslim conquest, developed under the Ummayads, and flourished under the Abbasids, who established the central school in their palace. Their Spanish Ummayad rivals responded by creating a similar academy in Cordoba. The preservation and consolidation process had thus lasted almost half a millennium, when science made its re-entry into western Europe from the Muslim bridgeheads in Sicily and Spain. Being neither Christian nor Muslim, Jewish scholars for a while enjoyed the advantage of having access to the research centers on both sides of the divide, but the religious zeal in England and France throughout the Crusades and their aftermath brought about the total expulsion of Jews from these countries, which thereby remained "judenrein" for several centuries. The second millennium C.E. did witness two periods of peak Jewish creativity in the sciences, separated by a figurative "black hole," the Dark Age of European Jewry, lasting from the 16th to the mid-18th centuries. Jewish involvement in the physical sciences can thus be summarized as follows: (1) Creative Humanism, no physical sciences: 15th century B.C.E.–10th century C.E. (2) First creative era in science (astronomy and physics): 11th–15th century (Spain, S. France) (3) Jewish Dark Age (Europe): 16th–mid-18th century. (4) Second creative era in science (physics and astronomy): 19th century to present. This can be further divided into two phases, according to the limitations on Jewish access to scientific research facilities, namely, (a) a restricted phase, either (a1) formal (through the Oath of Allegiance), or (a2) patronizing ("they do not know how to behave …"); the fully emancipated phase. The transitions occurred at different periods in each of the western democracies (e.g., 1950 for full emancipation in the United States). This chronology is followed in the present entry, with the Second Era section including three subsections dealing with special episodes: Nazi "Jewish Science" (1933–45), Nazi Germany and the Jewish initiative in the development of nuclear weapons (1938–46); and the "Scientists' Freedom of Movement" struggle in the U.S.S.R. (1971–91). It concludes with a survey of physics in modern Israel (from 1928). -From Antiquity to Sepharad (Humanism) In its first 25 centuries (1500 B.C.E.–1000 C.E.), the creative Jewish cultural contribution effectively centered on humanism and its ethical, social or juridical realization, e.g. the idea of a weekly day of rest, moral codes (as in the Ten Commandments), the treatment of slaves, support for the weak, etc. Very little was achieved in the sciences, where both motivation and methodology remained purely pragmatic, whatever the activity. An example is the biblical value (I Kings 7:23) of 3 = ח for the ratio between circumference and diameter in a circle, a value indicating that it must have been determined experimentally, namely averaging between results of very rough measurements of the ratio in several round objects; the Masoretic editors (8th–10th century C.E.) noted the lack of precision and inserted an improved value in a footnote. Another example is R. Nehemiah's Sefer ha-Middah, a book which played an important role in the preservation of Greek geometry and its revival in the East under the Abbasid caliphate, yet without a single proof, only prescriptions. Compare this with Greek culture, where Archimedes provided a mathematical proof that the value of π, an important geometrical constant, lies between 22/7 and 223/71 (or between 3.1408 and 3.1428), while using a method that could be further extended to any degree of precision. There is no real principle making it incompatible to be creatively involved both in humanistic culture and in science. There is even evidence that the conception of science as a worldview, i.e., the idea which emerged in sixth century B.C.E. Greece, that the physical world might be describable by laws of nature, was inspired by its humanistic analog, namely by the adoption of Solon's ethical code (human law), itself an imported offspring of the Middle Eastern ethical codes (Hammurapi, Moses, etc). Returning to pragmatic scientific activity in early Jewish tradition, there is talmudic evidence in two cases for marked astronomical erudition, namely the tanna R. Joshua b. Hananiah in Judea (c. 40–100 C.E.) and the amora Mar Samuel of   Nehardea in Babylonia. Such erudition was essential to the establishment of the Jewish calendar. On the other hand, there is no evidence for any systematic observation and recording of astronomical data. Such recording was performed by the Sumerian, Egyptian, and other priesthoods and was directly related to their cults. This is still universally reflected in the seven-day week, established for the seven deities identified with the seven astronomical "wanderers" (Sun, Moon, and five planets seen with the naked eye – Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn; notice the strange order). The strong biblical injunction against "worship of stars and zodiac signs" notwithstanding, there was no hesitation about applying the data to evaluate the various intercalations required to fit a lunar calendar to the solar year, a pragmatic task that was indeed performed efficiently. -The First Active Scientific Age: Sepharad and Provence The first Jewish scientific era lasted from 1000 to 1500 C.E., with major contributions in astronomy and physics (as well as medicine ), all by scholars residing in Spain and southern France. It began with R. Abraham bar Ḥiyya ha-Nasi ("the Prince") of Barcelona (d. 1136), author of three books on astronomy (in Hebrew) and continued with his pupil R. abraham ibn ezra (1089–1164). A formal dimension was acquired by this "dynasty of learning" between 1152 and 1156, when a team headed by R. Isaac Ibn Sa'id and R. Judah ben Moses Cohen, working in Toledo in the service of King Alphonso X of Castille, calculated and published the Alphonsine Tables. These tables were designed to track the movement of the planets, mainly for high-seas navigation. The two most original and effective Jewish contributions were those of R. levi ben gershom in Provence in the 14th century and R. Ḥasdai Crescas in Aragon in the 15th. The last astronomer in this sequence was "Zacut," namely R. abraham ben samuel zacuto (1452–1515), a leading scholar at Salamanca in Castille, who, at the expulsion, was welcomed for a while in Portugal and was given the responsibility for the scientific work at Sagres. Four years later, however, he was expelled with all other Jews in Portugal. The Portuguese Marrano Jewish philosopher baruch spinoza (1632–1677), working in Holland, where his family returned to the Jewish faith, can be considered as an extension of the Iberian age. Although the Amsterdam Jewish community leadership eventually excommunicated Spinoza (1656) because of his position on religious dogma, his overall views in several contexts are now not far from those of nonfundamentalist modern Jewish religious thinkers, such as R. abraham isaac kook . R. Levi ben Gershom of Bagnols (1288–1344) lived in Avignon in the south of France, a city which at that time was the seat of the papacy. Jewish scholars and historians generally designate Levi by the acronym RaLBag – while to the gentiles he is Maestre Leo de Bagnols, Leo Hebraeus, Gersonides – but the crater on the moon named after him by the International Astronomical Union reads "Rabbi Levi." (It is situated in a "Jewish quarter" which also has craters named after Ibn Ezra, Zacuto, and Einstein. In the Jewish world, Gersonides is generally cited for his teachings in religious philosophy – sometimes with a footnote stating "he also wrote 118 chapters in astronomy" (these works were translated from the original Hebrew into Latin by Mordecai Finzi, astronomer to the duke of Mantua). Levi earned his living as "mathematicus" (astrologer) in the service of the popes, the same function filled by Johannes Kepler at the emperor's court in Prague 200 years later, or by Galileo Galilei at the duke of Tuscany's court in Florence. Rabbi Levi was one of the greatest astronomers (and one of the greatest scientists) in the Middle Ages after the lights of science were turned off in the Greek centers along the shores of the Mediterranean. The following are but a few of his accomplishments: He invented the sextant (naming it Jacob's staff, a term used in the British Merchant Marine until the early 18th century). He improved the camera obscura – the camera's ancestor. Predominantly, and contrary to social norms during the Middle Ages, R. Levi did not blindly accept dogma but tested every assumption with his instruments. He was criticized for this both in the Jewish world and by the secular astronomy establishment. In a brilliant experiment, in the spirit of 20th century philosopher karl popper 's (1902–1994) invalidation ("falsification") doctrine, R. Levi measured variations in the luminosity of Mars over a period of five years. He proved that there was no correlation between the observed variations in the luminosity and the variations which would be expected if the planet Mars were following the path according to the then current version of Ptolemy's (Claudius Ptolemaeus of the second century C.E.) geocentric model with its epicycles – a theory universally accepted in the Middle Ages. He therefore disproved that model, and thereby paved the way for the adoption of the Copernican system two centuries later. The greatest Jewish medieval non-mathematical theorist in physics and cosmology was R. Ḥasdai Crescas (d. 1412) of Barcelona. Better known for his philosophy, which argued against mixing science with religion (in itself a view, close to modern approaches), his impact on the rebirth of physics was unique. Plato had discussed vacua, but Aristotle had then stated that "nature does not tolerate a vacuum," and throughout the Middle Ages physical thinking was non-reductive, always "effective," a priori assuming the presence of friction, air resistance, etc. Without a vacuum, however, one cannot define inertia and mass,. In his book Or Adonai Crescas refuted Aristotle's arguments against the vacuum and presented an infinite empty space as the scene on which the physical world is enacted. Like Gersonides, he also assumed continuous creation and a multiplicity of worlds. Pico della Mirandola (1463–1494), the one-man encyclopedic "team" who prepared the philosophical and scientific transition to the Renaissance, and who taught himself Hebrew and Arabic for that purpose, included an abstract of Crescas'   book in his "900 theses." It was picked up by Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), who was burned at the stake specifically for spreading Crescas' notion of an infinite empty (presumably absolute) space. Galileo, however, could now "place" a moving body in this vacuum and invent inertia, while Newton could have a force act on the body and measure velocities and accelerations with respect to that space and define the concept of mass as a measure of inertia. -The Dark Age CAUSES The 15th and 16th centuries are among the darkest in Jewish history. It is not that the previous 400 years in western Europe had been an idyll. On the contrary, the Jews in France suffered several expulsions and three countrywide massacres (1214, 1251, and 1320), by the Pastoureaux, sweeping peasant rebellions that struck almost only the Jews because they were the only unprotected group in the population. And yet there were a few quieter spots, in particular in the papal possessions in and around Avignon, where a Jewish presence lasted until the area was annexed to France during the Revolution. But the 15th and 16th centuries represented a regression. Two physical catastrophes followed by spiritual letdowns in the four movements they inspired, as well as the mystically oriented transformation of Judaism which they brought about, all contributed to the regression in Jewish participation in the development of science. The two major disasters were (1) the expulsion from Spain and other territories ruled by the Spanish monarchs (1492) and from Portugal (1497), and (2) the massacres in southeastern Poland (with about 600,000 dead), by the rebel Ukrainian Cossacks (1648) under the leadership of hetman bogdan chmielnicki . To these we may add the four pseudo-Messiahs (david reuveni , 1490–1538; solomon molcho , 1591–1532; Shabbetai Ẓevi , 1636–1676; jacob frank , 1726–1791) with the despair and conversions which followed the failure of each movement. Finally, there was the boost enjoyed by the mystic interpretation of Judaism with the rise of Ḥasidism, following the teachings of R. Israel ben Eleazar Ba'al Shem Tov (1700–1760), a trend which lasted about a 100 years and which was not inducive to scientific thinking. HASKALAH One development running counter to these trends occurred in Berlin, namely the rise of the haskalah (Enlightenment) movement, following the lead of moses mendelssohn (1729–1786). This was an attempt to develop a westernized interpretation of Judaism, emphasizing modern approaches to the study of Jewish classics (also as a shield against conversion), coupled with an assimilationist approach regarding dress, language, and other everyday aspects of life to produce "Germans of the Mosaic persuasion." It was made possible in Berlin by the relative liberalism in matters of culture and science of Voltaire's friend, the scholarly King Frederick II (the Great), whose academy included the key scientists of the era. Moreover, while the norm throughout central Europe was for Jews to be confined to the ghettos and restricted to peddling as a "profession," 18th-century Germany with its heterogeneous multitiered political structure offered a number of channels – "protected" Jews who could go anywhere because they were paying their "protection taxes" to the emperor, other taxes to the various kings, etc. In 1763, Mendelssohn won a prize offered by the Prussian Royal Academy of Sciences in a competition consisting in an essay on a question in metaphysics, with Immanuel Kant coming in second. The event had an impact on Jewish youth, attracting them to the sciences. The intellectual transformation was shaped and polished in the salons of several Jewish ladies (rahel levin varnhagen , henriette herz , and others). The movement started by Mendelssohn thus played an important role in the return of Jews to science, literature, etc., but it failed badly in the prevention of conversion. It is rather tragic to note that much of the creative cultural harvest would have lost any trace of its Jewish origins had it not been for its rejection by the Nazis, together with their reclassification of the authors as Jews even at a distance of two generations. MITNAGGEDIM The ḥasidic movement's rapid spread seemed to replace the "religion of learning" by one of hereditary dynasties of miracle-rabbis leading a following of ignoramuses. The spiritual leadership of classical Judaism in Lithuania, under the inspiration of elijah gaon of Vilna (1726–1791), a leader revered for his spiritual creativity and his learning, organized a campaign aimed at stemming the growing mystical flood. After several decades of a bitter struggle, the conflict lost its "either/or" aspect and new trends appeared on the ḥasidic side, with a reemphasis on learning. The Gaon was interested in science, considered himself fully knowledgeable in this matter, and promoted scientific studies as useful additions to Torah. However, the Jewish isolation and loss of contact were so great that what the Gaon meant in 1780 by "science" was Euclid's geometry and Aristotle's physics, having never heard of Descartes, Galileo, or Newton. -The Second Creative Period: Restricted Approach To understand what happened to European Jewry around 1800, the reader should bear in mind the effective status of the Jewish population in central Europe, constrained to ghettos and to marginal professions. This state of affairs ended as a combined result of two roughly simultaneous "revolutions," namely the French Revolution (with its Napoleonic sequel) on the one hand, and the Industrial Revolution on the other. Napoleon's army reached every capital in Continental Europe at some time or other, and the reforms it either imposed or indirectly induced included the cancellation of employment and residence restrictions on the Jews. The Industrial Revolution created work and new white-collar jobs for bankers, financiers, accountants, clerks, lawyers, but also engineers of various specialties, etc. The autochthonous population generally preserved family traditions – nobility serving as professional army officers, peasants receiving farms from their parents and transferring them to their own children, etc. The white-collar   jobs required literacy, but intellectual types in the nobility generally joined the Church. The situation on the Jewish side was just the opposite: to the extent that anybody had risen above peddling and had some traditional family training, it was in moneylending, jewelry, or commerce, a preparation for banking and other financial professions. Males were all literate and with some preconditioning for logical structures, somewhat facilitating the study of law and mathematics. As a result, the 19th century established an emancipated Jewish middle class throughout central Europe, and yet this did not include a serious academic or scientific component, mainly because of the customary Oath of Allegiance required upon becoming an ordinarius (full professor), a throwback to medieval times. The Oath was taken with one's hand on a New Testament and was thus considered de facto religious conversion. One way of participating in academic activities without swearing allegiance was to have a parallel occupation outside the academic world and occupy it after resigning from the university before the oath stage, and whenever possible to return after a few years and repeat the cycle. This was somewhat easier in mathematics and mathematical physics, which did not require special equipment for the professor to continue his research and preserve his knowledge in the non-academic phase. Prominent examples are the mathematicians john joseph sylvester (1814–1897) in England and leopold kronecker (1823–1891) in Prussia. England was still in its "formally restricted" stage as far as Jewish emancipation went, and Sylvester, who studied at Cambridge, could not even get his B.A. until 1871, when he received it together with his M.A. He "meandered" between academic life and working in an insurance company, and later as a lawyer. By 1883, though, progress in emancipation had reached a level which enabled Sylvester to become a full professor at Oxford without converting. Kronecker's line was commerce and banking, with short appointments in academe, until progress in emancipation allowed him to receive a professorship in 1883. In a somewhat bizarre twist, Kronecker converted to Christianity shortly before his death. The mathematician and theoretical physicist karl gustav jacob jacobi (1804–1851) was the first Jewish scientist to be appointed to a special royal chair without having to take the Oath, which had just been abolished by Prussian Minister of Culture Wilhelm von Humboldt (brother of the geographer). Intellectually, the von Humboldt brothers had grown up in the intellectual salons of the ladies of the mendelssohn family and its periphery, a liberal milieu, and it was natural that they should regard the Oath as a medieval vestige. However, this was not the end of the story. In 1848 politically liberal Jacobi signed a petition calling on the king to put an end to his absolute rule. The king put an end to Jacobi's chair and Jacobi found himself in the street with his wife and seven children. One year later, Alexander von Humboldt intervened and the king reestablished the chair. However, Wilhelm had died and the new minister had reestablished the Oath, so that Jacobi took it and converted shortly before his demise. By the end of the 19th century formal restrictions had been abolished almost everywhere, but they had been replaced by an unwritten numerical restriction policy. This was often represented as protection of the academic milieu against Jews in academe who "do not know how to behave," a phrase found in most appointment committee reports, such as the one dealing with Einstein's appointment in 1909 as professor at the University of Zurich, or that of the Princeton University Graduate School's admissions committee dealing with Richard Feynman's application (backed by his MIT professor): "We do not like to have many Jews in the graduate school because it is difficult afterwards to find jobs for them." In the United States, the restrictive policy lasted till the mid-1960s when an incident involving MIT President Vannevar Bush and British mathematician G.H. Hardy (1877–1947) exposed the procedure and held it up to ridicule. Bush had fixed a ceiling of one Jew per department. In mathematics this position was occupied by norbert wiener (1894–1964), but sometime in the 1950s the Department of Mathematics wanted to hire Norman Levinson, recommended by Hardy. This was vetoed by Bush in view of the restrictive policy of the institution. Some time later MIT awarded Hardy an honorary doctorate. In the ceremony, Hardy thanked "the Mass. Inst. of Theology" for the award and, when corrected, insisted, explaining, "Why else would a professor's religious appartenance matter at all?" -Further Advances The restrictions notwithstanding, the children and grandchildren of the earliest white-collar Jewish generations gradually replaced ḥeder or yeshivah schooling with state education and found their way to the universities as students and then as temporary teachers, etc. The formalities constituting the obstacles in the admission threshold for Jews were sometimes more flexible in medicine and pharmacy, perhaps a vestige of the traditionally high reputation enjoyed by medieval Jewish medicine. In Austro-Hungary, this extended to chemical engineering, which is why famous theoretical physicists such as E. Wigner, E. Teller , etc., were originally trained as chemical engineers. The combination of talent, intellectual curiosity, and the willingness to be satisfied with temporary and somewhat insecure positions resulted in the emergence of a sizable Jewish component in most European countries' research setup. Towards the end of the 19th century there were in the forefront of physics at least two future Jewish Nobel laureates, both experimentalists, albert abraham michelson (1852–1931) and Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894). Both of them, and more so, more recently, dennis gabor (1900–1979) were investigating electromagnetic radiation in its overlap with optics, i.e., a field very remotely related to the traditional occupational expertise in lenses (itself probably an extension of diamond cutting and jewelry making) as exemplified by Spinoza. In France, the advance was more in the conceptual and abstract domain as   represented by henri bergson (1859–1941) in philosophy and jacques hadamard (1865–1963) in mathematics. -The Einstein Era: Quantum Theory and Relativity The more distinguished the Jews were, the greater their mark both within the system and outside it. Then a young German Jew, an employee of the Swiss Patent Office in Bern, published within the same year (1905) five articles in theoretical physics, each of which was a scientific high-water mark of the order of Newton's papers. This was albert einstein (1879–1955), and his reputation grew accordingly after the experiments verifying his theory of gravity (1916), namely the general theory of relativity. His success attracted many a young Jew to physics. Two conceptual revolutions occurred in physics in the first half of the 20th century, namely relativity and quantum mechanics. Einstein spearheaded both, almost single-handedly in relativity and with M. Planck and niels bohr (1885–1962) in the quantum maze. Aside from Michelson's initial experimental exposure of the failure of classical mechanics for velocities close to light-velocity, Einstein was assisted at the mathematical end by the perception of his former teacher hermann minkowski (1864–1909) and by his former classmate Marcel Grossmann; the first interesting application was achieved by astronomer karl schwarzschild (1873–1916). All three were Jewish. On the quantum front, aside from Niels Bohr, there was max born (1882–1970), who led in the initial understanding of the mathematical results, john von neumann (1903–1957), who provided the mathematical consolidation of the new formalism, and wolfgang pauli (1900–1958), whose "Pauli Principle," forbidding having at any one time more than one electron for any set of quantum numbers, provided a master-key to understanding atomic physics and the Periodic Table in Chemistry and applications in electronics. The growing sophistication both in the conceptual tool-kit of mathematical physics – and even more so in the rapidly evolving technological potentialities at the disposal of experimentation – forced 20th century physicists to split according to a two-dimensional repartition, namely theorists versus experimentalists in the abcissa and the ordinate going from high-energy nuclear physics (or the physics of particles and fields), to (low-energy) nuclear physics, atomic physics, molecular, nanotechnology, condensed matter, astrophysics, and cosmology (plus the environmental refocusing – geophysics, oceanography, etc.). A glance at the list of Nobel laureates in physics shows that they are evenly distributed on the above chessboard. In theory, lev landau (1908–1968) and richard feynman (1918–1988) have both covered several areas and produced the deepest insights. eugene wigner (1902–1999) (and Giulio Racah) developed algebraic methods which played an important role in atomic, nuclear and particle physics. Feynman's impact was mostly in particle physics; other theorists who made important contributions in that area are julian schwinger (1918– ), murray gell-mann (1929– ) (and Yuval Ne'eman ), steven weinberg (1933– ), sheldon glashow (1932– ), and david gross , also Maria Goeppert-Mayer in nuclear physics. The leading experimentalists in this field are donald glaser (1926– ), leon lederman (1922– ), fred reines , jack steinberger (1931– ), melvin schwartz (1932– ), martin perl (1927– ), and jerome friedman . In condensed matter physics, among the leading theorists are vitaly ginsburg and Abrikosov. isidor i. rabi (1898–1988) measured particle magnetic moments, while felix bloch (1905–1983) turned them into a scientific and medical tool. claude cohen-tannoudji (1933– ) developed methods of trapping single atoms, david lee (1931– ) and douglas osheroff advanced superfluidity. One of the founders of modern cosmology was Alexander Friedman in the 1920s in the U.S.S.R., while Herbert Friedman was a pioneer in X-ray astronomy. arno penzias discovered the cosmic background radiation. Ed Salpeter contributed to astrophysics and jesse greenstein in astronomy. -Nazi Germany The growth in size and in importance of the Jewish contribution to physics continued throughout the 20th century, yet it was also especially marked by several momentous events belonging to both Jewish and general history. As against the gradual opening of the world of science (and physics in particular) to Jewish students, teachers, and researchers, the coming to power of the Nazis in Germany in 1933 acted more like lightning. All Jewish professors in German state universities were fired immediately, with only Max Planck and David Hilbert protesting – admittedly Germany's two top gentile scientists, which may also partly explain their civic courage (Planck's son later participated in the officers' plot to kill Hitler and was executed). Two prominent experimental physicists, Philip E.A. von Lenard (1862–1947) and Johannes Stark (1874–1957), both of them Nobel laureates, and two leading mathematicians, Ludwig Bieberbach, best known for the "Bieberbach conjecture," and Oswald Teichmullern, an important topologist, identified with Nazi policy and actively joined the campaign for the eradication of "Jewish physics" and "Jewish mathematics." The exodus of Germany's Jewish scientists was complete, from Albert Einstein, who left in 1931, settling in at the Princeton, to Max Born, who went to Scotland instead of moving to Jerusalem, Einstein's entreaties notwithstanding. Three remarkable female Jewish physicists provide a typical sample of Jewish destinies reminiscent of 1492: Emmy noether , mathematical physicist, worked with F. Klein at Erlangen and with Hilbert at Goettingen, and was famous for "Noether's theorem" linking conservation laws (e.g., energy, linear and angular momentum, electric charge, etc.) to invariance under symmetry transformations (for the above examples these are, respectively, time translations, spatial translations, rotations, phase modifications). Barred from getting a professorial appointment by the double barrier of her sex and religion, she immigrated to the United States in 1933. Mariette Blau of Vienna, who developed the detection of cosmic radiation with emulsions, fled Austria with the Anschluss   (1938) for Sweden and later reached Mexico and the United States. lise meitner (1878–1968), a physicist, collaborated with the chemist O. Hahn until 1933, then fled to Sweden. For many such cases, including that of her physicist nephew O. Frisch , the Bohr Institute in Copenhagen served as a first stop when fleeing – until the start of World War II and the German invasion of Denmark. Between 1933 and 1938 Nazi de facto domination spread over central and southern Europe, causing the flight of most Jewish physicists, as well as non-Jews married to Jews (e.g., E. Fermi, H. Weyl) or children of one Jewish parent (e.g., H. Bethe, N. Bohr, W. Pauli). In Italy, formal racist legislation was decreed in October 1938. -Conceiving Nuclear Weapons – a Jewish Response to the Nazi Threat of Annihilation Scattering neutrons off uranium, and having detected the presence of elements resembling barium and iodine, Enrico Fermi announced the production of new elements (93 & 94 in the Periodic Table) and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1938. The Fermi family fled to the United States after the Nobel ceremony, except for wife Laura's father, a Jewish admiral, who returned to Italy and indeed died in a concentration camp. The other Jewish members of the Fermi group were Emilio segre (1905–1989), who left for the United States, and Giulio Racah, who immigrated to Israel. Around that time (Christmas 1938), Lise Meitner was visited by her nephew O. Frisch. They discussed a letter from her former partner O. Hahn, who had redone Fermi's experiment and was certain that these new products were not new elements but indeed true barium and strontium\! Meitner and Frisch then recognized nuclear fission. The news arrived in Copenhagen upon Frisch's return and was brought to the United States by N. Bohr and Leon Rosenfeld. Here it caught the attention of leo szilard (1898–1964), a Hungarian Jewish engineer turned physicist (eventually also one of the founders of molecular biology), who had earlier considered the possibility of fission in nuclei and now realized its military potential. Meanwhile, Frisch moved to England, so that early in 1939 two alarmed groups of Jewish physicists ("Central European refugee scientists" in the textbooks), now refugees in the United States and England, were going through a nightmare as they considered the possibility of German physics and an eventual nuclear weapon joined to Evil as personified by Adolf Hitler. In America, the Szilard group included Edward Teller (1908–2003), John von Neumann, and Enrico Fermi; in England, Otto Frisch, rudolph peierls (1907–1995), and joseph rotblat (1908–2005). Both groups tried to alert the respective governments. In the United States, Szilard used Jewish contacts, in particular financier A. Sachs, to get to President Roosevelt; at Sachs' request, they informed Einstein and got from him a signed letter explaining the danger and calling for preempting Germany in developing the new weapon, in order, at least, to achieve through deterrence some protection against its use. The entire effort resulted in the allocation of $6,000 for Fermi, for an experimental study of an eventual chain reaction. In England, however, the lobby reached and convinced Winston Churchill, who wrote to Roosevelt. Less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew America into World War II, the president, now convinced, authorized the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project, an R\&D and production ensemble, was directed by American Jewish physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967), with hans bethe (1906–2005) heading the Theoretical Division and E. Segre and R.P. Feynman, members of the original initiating group, and others participating. A 1995 study of the project by A. Makhijani (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) reports that the Pentagon decided a priori that the new weapons would not be used on the European front, for fear of Germany's capability for nuclear retaliation, but that they could be used on the Japanese front, as Japan was not considered as scientifically capable of developing nuclear weapons – but it was also decided not to inform the scientific leadership of the project "because they are Jewish and singly motivated by fear of Hitler's Germany"; eventually, Germany surrendered before the weapons were ready, and when President Truman weighed their use in Japan, several of the Jewish physicists signed a letter to the president suggesting they be used in a harmless demonstration rather than on a target, whether military or civilian. The Dutch Jewish physicist Samuel Goudsmit (1902–1978), co-discoverer of the electron spin, was put in charge of ALSOS, a military unit whose task was to find out what Germany might be doing in the nuclear weapons context. Of course, other war needs continued in parallel, with important roles played by Isidore I. Rabi working on microwave radar, theodore von karman (1881–1963) on aeronautics, etc. In all of these developments, including the Manhattan Project, Jewish physicists were doing their duty as American patriots. The frantic concern of the two refugee groups on both sides of the Atlantic and the resulting initiative should be counted as an intrinsic part of Jewish history, a response to Germany's extermination program, in the same category as the Warsaw ghetto revolt or the Jewish maquis in France. The second nuclear confrontation was the Cold War (1950–90). Edward Teller initiated the development of the H-bomb, a nuclear fusion weapon based on an idea of Teller and S. Ulam , a Polish Jewish mathematician. -Physics in Israel BEGINNINGS The first academic appointment in physics in modern Israel was that of samuel sambursky in 1928 as assistant for physics in the Department of Mathematics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Einstein had joined the founders' group in 1921 when he traveled with Weizmann to the U.S. to collect the basic funds, then in 1923 when he visited Palestine under the British Mandate. The head of the Department of Mathematics was A.H. Fraenkel of Set Theory fame, and helped by Einstein and L.   Ornstein (Leyden, then Utrecht), he tried to attract quality personnel. The number of serious candidates rose considerably in 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany and all Jewish faculty members in all German universities were fired. For reasons of economy, however, HU President Magnes did not assign any priority to physics, and various candidates (F. London, F. Bloch, G. Placzek – who had planned to bring along his student – E. Teller) were effectively rejected. E. Wigner did stay one year, but left in order not to be in the way when a single position was made available for either him or L. Farkas , a physical chemist (married with one child while Wigner was single). Farkas had arrived from Fritz Haber's lab (Haber, of World War I chemical warfare repute, had been prevailed upon by Einstein to go to Jerusalem and was on his way, when he fell ill and died). Finally, E. Alexander, an arrival from von Hevesy's Freibourg X-ray crystallography lab, with parallel theoretical experience in the study of symmetry in crystals, launched both the Physics Department at HU and a line of research which developed in all physics departments in the country, achieving important results, such as J. Zak's work, and culminating in D. Shechtman 's 1984 discovery of non-periodic ordering (pseudo crystals), both at the Technion. Alexander and Farkas created laboratories which fulfilled an important role in the defense of the eastern Mediterranean in World War II. Another physicist whose role was extremely useful in World War II and in Israel's War of Independence was E. Goldberg , the former founder and director of Zeiss-IKON, the leading optics firm in Europe, and yet another refugee immigrant scientist fleeing Nazi rule. He founded Goldberg Instruments, the first high-tech firm in the country (renamed El Op after its merger with A. Jaffe's Rehovoth Instruments. Condensed matter physics developed with the arrival of several key researchers: Cyril Domb, FRS, who joined Bar-Ilan University in the 1960s; Guy Deutscher from France; Alexander Voronel and Mark Azbel arrived from the U.S.S.R. after a difficult struggle, joining Tel Aviv University (TAU), which had been active in support of their struggle; M. Gitterman (Bar-Ilan) also arrived from the U.S.S.R., while Isaak Khalatnikov (TAU) and Pitaievski (Technion) arrived in the early 1990s, after Glasnost. Racah, arriving in 1938, launched theoretical physics and, in particular, atomic physics and spectroscopy in the country. On the experimental side, research in nuclear chemistry (as the experimentation in the production of elements and isotopes came to be called) was initiated at the Weizmann (formerly Sieff) Institute by Israel Dostrowski, who had worked on these subjects in England in the early 1940s. He developed techniques for the separation of isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen. The Weizmann Institute soon became an important supplier of the latter, much in use in the study of organic processes. Sometime after the founding of the state in 1948, the government established an Atomic Energy Board, with E.D. Bergmann , a distinguished organic chemist and the director of the Weizmann Institute, as chairman. Bergman, Racah, and Dostrowski selected good students and placed them in high-quality research centers and under good tutors. amos de-shalit and igal talmi (nuclear structure), G. Yekutielli (cosmic rays), I. Pellah (reactors), and U. Habersheim (physics education) were selected and were joined by H.J. Lipkin, who had immigrated from the United States after receiving a Ph.D. in physics. They returned in 1954, but Ben-Gurion had meanwhile resigned and retired. His successors, Prime Minister Sharett and Defense Minister Lavon, did not share Ben-Gurion's enthusiasm for science and transferred the group to the Weizmann Institute against a payment of $100,000, the estimated investment in their studies (U. Habersheim returned to the United States). De-Shalit and Talmi produced important results, and the Weizmann Institute had thus become a bridgehead for nuclear physics in Israel, soon to become the most active center for nuclear structure studies after the Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. By the end of 1957 it was "natural" to have a well-attended International Conference on Nuclear Structure in Rehovot, discussing the hottest topic of the decade, namely parity nonconservation, and with W. Pauli, T.D. Lee, Mme C.S. Wu, and Ben Mottleson of Copenhagen in attendance. Theory needs to be close to experiment for good balance and this came next – a Tandem Van de Graaff electrostatic accelerator was started up, with Gvirol Goldring in the lead. Ben-Gurion returned from his Sedeh Boker retreat in 1955 and the IAEC returned to its program, with two nuclear labs, and two reactors – a 1–5 MW "swimming pool" AMF enriched uranium reactor at Sorek, supplied by the United States and under its surveillance, and a 24 MW natural uranium "heavy-water" cooled one in Dimonah, purchased in France. In reactor physics, experiment (I. Pellah) preceded theory (S. Yiftah). Members of the former team now served as advisors, sometime after taking specific courses in France. ROSEN, RELATIVITY, AND QUANTUM FOUNDATIONS At the technion (Haifa, founded 1912) the Physics Faculty was established around 1955, after Nathan Rosen immigrated to the country. Rosen had worked for many years with Albert Einstein on a variety of subjects: gravitational radiation, "worm-holes" (the "Einstein-Rosen bridge"), etc., in general relativity and "entanglement" in quantum mechanics (the Einstein-Podolski-Rosen ("EPR") paper). He had developed his own modification of GR (the "two fields" theory). The study in Haifa of the non-intuitive aspects of quantum mechanics, inspired by Rosen's continuing interest in EPR, strengthened with the arrival in Israel of david bohm , fleeing Senator McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee. Bohm left a year later for Bristol in the UK, but the seeds were planted. Two leading researchers in the foundations of quantum mechanics grew out of this, yakir aharonov (TAU after 1967) and Asher Peres (Technion), the latter also a leading researcher in GR. Among the next generation in this "school," Lev Veidman (TAU) and Avshalom Elitzur (Bar-Ilan) have made important   contributions. Michael Marainov (Technion) arrived from the USSR. In general relativity and cosmology, the impact of Rosen's presence was felt in most physics departments, either through his students, as in Beersheva with Moshe Carmeli, or by the attraction of immigrant scientists, such as Gerald Tauber in Tel Aviv and his student Tsvi Piran or Jacob Bekenstein first in Beersheba and later in Jerusalem, a leader in the intersection of GR with thermodynamics, where his identification of a contribution to entropy generated by the gravitational field of a "black hole" opened up an entirely new chapter with profound conceptual aspects, as discussed in recent years by S. Hawking, L. Susskind (the "holographic" universe), S. Coleman ("Black Holes as Red Herrings"), and others. Sometime in the 1970s new lines of research appeared: neural networks at HU, with David Horn at TAU. Chaos was treated by Ittamar Procaccia at Weizmann, Shmuel Sambourski (HU), and Max Jammer (Bar-Ilan). COSMIC RAYS, PARTICLES, AND FIELDS Cosmic ray physics developed with Y. Eisenberg, who had observed in 1958, in an emulsion that had been exposed to cosmic radiation, an "event" which was to be identified in 1962 with the omega-minus hyperon. He joined the Weizmann Institute in 1959; at the same time and in the same subdiscipline, Dan Kessler joined Sorek. At the Technion, Kurt Sitte, an experienced experimentalist, started an experimental cosmic ray group, short-lived because Sitte was arrested and tried for crimes against the nation's security. Paul Singer, joining in 1959–60, studied the theoretical issues involved, thus entering particle physics. While research in cosmic rays in Israel thus focused in the early years on the particle physics aspect, a new group was led by L. Dorman, who had immigrated from the USSR in the 1990s; their interest lay in the Earth's environment, the radiation belts, and the solar wind. The Emilio Segre Observatory collaborates with the Italian CR community. Yuval Ne'eman (1925–2006), scion of several of the founding families of the modern Jewish resettlement (c. 1800, prior to organized Zionism, founded in 1897) and of the city of Tel Aviv (1909), after a career in the Israel Defense Forces, turned to physics at the age of 33, combining graduate studies at Imperial College with the duties of defense attaché in Israel's London embassy. Resigning from this position in May 1960 he "embarked on a highly speculative program" (in the words of A. Salam, his advisor, who advised against it), namely a search for a symmetry of the hadrons providing both a classification and dynamical couplings. The result, arrived at in October 1960, was submitted for publication early in February 1961. This was SU(3) symmetry (now renamed flavor-SU(3) in a version based on the identification of the spin ½ baryons as an octet. It provided a hadron classification and an exact global-symmetry, also an effective local gauge-symmetry (mediated by a spin-1 massive vector-meson octet). The most elegant visualization of these octets sets them as 3 × 3 matrices. The octet's main competitor was the Sakata model, using the same SU(3) group, but with a different and a priori more popular algebraic normalization, namely assigning the best-known multiplet {p,n,/\\} to the group's defining representation. The octet global symmetry was tested in hundreds of predictions relating to the couplings and based on the Clebsch-Gordan coefficients of the group, but the final verdict was supplied by the discovery of the omega-minus hyperon, fitting the predictions exactly. The classification and symmetry were discovered simultaneously and independently by M. Gell-Mann, who called them "the Eightfold Way." Back in Israel, as scientific director of the Sorek Laboratory, Ne'eman also organized a group combining technical service in the establishment with research in particle physics. With H. Goldberg of that group, Ne'eman constructed a mathematical model yielding precisely the observed set of representations; this model consisted in fixing as the basic "brick" the 3-dimensional defining SU(3) representation with a baryon-number B = ⅓ assignment (and fractional electric charges). We would also have to prepare the 3 anti-brick with B = –⅓. The B = 1 baryons are then in (3 (×) 3 (×) 3) = 1 + 8 + 8 + 10. The model was again discussed two years later as to the physical nature of these "bricks" by M. Gell-Mann (who named the "bricks" quarks) and by G. Zweig (who named them "aces"). Soon after this consolidation of the quark model it was tested and scored nicely through algebraic treatments based either on a nonrelativistic approximation, initiated by F. Gursey and L. Radicati, or applying an asymptotic limit, a method used by E. Levin and L. Frankfurt in Leningrad (1965; both were professors at TAU by 1990). In the first two years after his return to Israel, Ne'eman lectured on particle physics at the Technion. Hebrew University, Weizmann Institute. C. Levinson and S. Meshkov, who were guests from the United States, worked with H.J. Lipkin on the SU(3) Elliott Model in nuclei, "transferred" to particle physics, and produced many of the predictions for both the Sakata and the Ne'eman/Gell-Mann models. The first group of graduate students who worked with Ne'eman in particle physics then spent 1–2 years in leading centers – D. Horn and Y. Dothan at Caltech, H. Harari at SLAC, J. Rosen at BU, etc. – while a flux of guests and post-docs in particle physics arrived in Israel, L. Susskind, J. Rosner, J. Yellin at the new TAU, H. Rubinstein, M. Virasoro, at Weizmann, D. Lurie at the Technion, etc. Generally speaking, an internal symmetry, and even more so a global one, is an extension of the kinematics and has to be grafted onto a dynamical theory. In London in 1958–60 this was Relativistic Quantum Field Theory (RQFT), which had been successfully applied to quantum electrodynamics in 1946–48, producing the most precise theory in physics. Ne'eman was a guest at Caltech in 1963–65 and was impressed by the apparent rejection of Quantum Field Theory. R.P. Feynman, one of the heroes of that theory's success in the 1940s, had tried to extend it to quantum gravity and, encountering difficulties, had decided to do it first on the Yang-Mills gauge theory as a simplified model. He had then come   across violations of unitarity off mass shell. The news spread to Berkeley, and G.F. Chew, the charismatic leader of particle physics in the 1950s and 1960s on the West Coast and sometimes everywhere in the United States, proclaimed Quantum Field Theory to have been a lucky accident of the 1940s, worthless beyond some special conditions. That verdict was accepted by the rank and file. Luckily, QFT could still be used for leptons, and the first important step in unification, the Weinberg-Salam theory, was presented in its leptonic dress (1967–68). For the hadrons Gell-Mann had then invented current algebra, a way of preserving those features onto which one could apply the symmetry. Ne'eman himself developed similar structures in the mid-1960s (e.g., "the algebra of Regge residues" in the work with N. Cabibbo and L.P. Horwitz). Hadron dynamics now moved on to "S-Matrix theory" and the Bootstrap hypothesis. Between 1966 and 1970, Israel – the local group and its guests – was in the lead internationally: D. Horn (with C. Schmid and R. Dolan) provided the bootstrap with a mathematical embodiment, the "Finite Energy Sum Rules." Gabriele Veneziano, an Italian-Jewish graduate student at Weizmann, solved these equations, L. Susskind (at that stage a prospective immigrant from the U.S.) at TAU and Y. Nambu in Chicago showed that the Veneziano representation describes a quantum string. Harari at Weizmann with P.G.O. Freund in Chicago and G. Zweig at Caltech further developed the methodology, and M. Virasoro and H. Rubinstein at Weizmann enriched the string formalism. An international conference on "Dual Models" held in 1970 in Tel Aviv embodied the centrality achieved by particle physics in Israel in one decade. It was also a milestone in this first role of String Theory, here as a candidate theory for the Strong Interactions (1968–73). The year 1970, however, was another "refocusing" year, when G. 't Hooft in Holland completed the renormalization of the Weinberg-Salam electroweak theory. That "infamous" breakdown of the unitarity of mass shell had been cured by its discoverer around 1962, when Feynman introduced ghost fields. Further work by B. de Witt, Slavnov, Taylor, Faddeev, and Popov had completed the cure, and now not only had 't Hooft finished the Yang-Mills case, he had also cleaned up the case of a spontaneous breakdown of that local gauge theory. Quantum Field Theory was now back with a vengeance. In Israel, research in experimental particle physics is mostly done at CERN (Israel was granted Associated Membership in 1991, together with Russia, after a weaker association starting from 1971) and at DESY (Israeli formal association since 1983), with active groups at the Technion (J. Goldberg), TAU (G. Alexander, A. Levy, Y. Oren, G. Bela, E. Etzion, S. Dagan, O. Benary), Weizmann (G. Mickenberg, U. Karshon) plus medium energy groups at HU (A. Gal) and TAU (A. Yavin, P. Alster), etc. Theory groups are active in all these institutions. GEOMETRICAL DEVELOPMENTS In 1971, Yu. Golfand (who later immigrated to Israel) and E. Likhtman in Russia introduced supersymmetry, which was then "sharpened" by J. Wess and B. Zumino and by A. Salam and J. Strathdee. This was a new opening both in mathematics and physics. The Harvard mathematician S. Sternberg, visiting Tel Aviv University yearly and bringing in other visitors such as B. Kostant of MIT, etc., had already collaborated with Ne'eman on topics in current algebras, etc. In 1974, L. Corwin, Ne'eman, and Sternberg published a major exploratory study of "Graded Lie Algebras" which cleared the field and was soon followed by V. Kac's classification of the Simple Lie Superalgebras (the new name for the "Graded Lie Algebras"). Superalgebras avoided some of the "no-go" theorems forbidding mergers between spacetime and "internal" symmetries. One such application was supergravity, discovered in 1976 by D.Z. Freedman, S. Ferrara, and P. von Nieuwenhuizen and by S. Deser and B. Zumino. Gell-Mann and Ne'eman showed in 1976 that the gauge supersymmetry models with N = 4h (max) (N the number of internal degrees of freedom, h(max) the highest helicity) are so severely constrained algebraically as to be possibly renormalizable or even finite. The N = 4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills (h = 1) is indeed finite and the N = 8 (built by E. Cremmer and B. Julia in 1978) is still the great hope in the "M-theory" of 1997 as the field theory limit of a string theory embedded in a Membrane. Moreover, Ne'eman's work with T. Regge in 1977 introduced a new geometrical approach, the group manifold method. Ne'eman's French student J. Thierry-Mieg then showed (1979–81) that the "ghost fields" have a very useful geometrical interpretation (in a Yang-Mills theory) as the vertical component of the connection 1-form, while the unitarity-guaranteeing equations (BRS, etc.) just reproduce the Cartan-Maurer equations guaranteeing the horizontality of the curvature 2-forms. It also led Ne'eman (1979) to the concept of a "superconnection" – a concept independently introduced in mathematics by D. Quillen in 1985. As a matter of fact, the geometric features present in much of algebraic physics – perhaps the most interesting aspect of Felix Klein's and Sophus Lie's (1872) Erlangen Program – first emphasized in GR, pervade gauge theories and spectrum generating algebras and have led both the string theorists and Ne'eman from the strong Interactions to gravity and back, though along different paths. Ne'eman's collaboration with the Cologne group of F.W. Hehl, with D. Sijacki (Belgrade), R. Kerner (Paris), E. Mielke and A. Macias (Mexico), and others is the outcome of his discovery (1977) of world spinors, the infinite unitary spinorial reps of the double-covering of the SL(n, R) and of the covariance group, for long wrongly thought of as nonexistent. These have been used to describe Regge excitation sequencesin strong interactions ("chromogravity"), where they are the only clear link, to date, between QCD and the features that characterized the S.I. in the S-matrix analytical continuation formalism. All of this may find applications in gravity too and has also somewhat overlapped with mathematical work by Shmuel Kaniel's group in Jerusalem and the cosmological studies of Eduardo Guendelman's group in Beersheba.   Ne'eman's 1979 superconnection introduced an internal supersymmetry SU(2/1) constraining the electroweak SU(2) × U (1); the same theory (though derived differently) was suggested independently and simultaneously by D. Fairlie. It predicts the Higgs mass to be M(H) = 2M(W), prior to radiative corrections. We note that with his various collaborators at Harvard, Cologne, Turino, Belgrade, etc., Ne'eman's TAU chair has been a source of innovative mathematical physics throughout the 1965–2005 period. ASTRONOMY, ASTROPHYSICS, AND COSMOLOGY There was no astronomy in Israel until 1965, although there were two young men who studied astronomy – Elia Leibowitz at Harvard and Raphael Steinitz in Holland – assuming that some day there would be such activity Israel. At TAU, Ne'eman started to develop several programs in parallel. Solar astronomy was undertaken, using a telescope on a roof at the TAU campus working in full conjunction with a Caltech telescope at Great Bear Lake in California under the guidance of H. Zirin. This was one of the first combined instruments providing 24-hour full coverage and thereby making it possible to follow eruptions, etc., throughout the entire season. This small success (1967) was followed by a series of failed attempts in 1968–71. Still in solar astronomy, a special telescope – static and with a rotating mirror following the sun – was installed in a specially designed observatory (following advice from Kippenheuier) on another TAU campus roof, and another Israeli who had studied and now worked in France under Michard undertook to operate it, but "defected" for family reasons, and this initiative collapsed. A second attempt failed some years later, when an excellent instrument in an observatory in California became available due to the closure of that base. One of the main supporters of TAU, Raymond Sackler, undertook payment, and it was purchased at full price, but then the State of California authorities passed a law restricting the sale of scientific instrumentation belonging to the state, a restriction which included this case. In radio-astronomy, Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the 3oK "background radiation," spending a semester at TAU, developed a collaboration with a millimeter radioastronomical observatory at Bonn for N-S interferometry, but this scheme also collapsed due to the operators defecting, this time as a result of industry offering very much higher salaries. Finally, after these three failures, a triumph was achieved late in 1971 with the inauguration of the George and Florence Wise (Optical) Observatory at Mitzpeh Ramon in the Negev at an altitude of 1000 m., with a 40ʹʹ wide angle Ritchie-Chretien reflector telescope with a Cassegrain mirror. The site was selected after a survey which covered the peaks from Mt. Sinai (where Abbott measured the solar constant around 1900) to Mt. Hermon. The Smithsonian Institute, under the leadership of F. Whipple, and with the active participation of M. Lecar, collaborated by supplying much of the auxiliary instrumentation for the project; the Israeli government paid for the building and TAU President Dr. George Wise and Mrs. Wise contributed the telescope. The outcome was beyond expectations: within the first three years there were three fairly spectacular results: John and Neta Bahcall produced the first optical identification of an X-ray pulsar (Hercules HR); Peter Wehinger and Susan Wykopf produced a spectroscopic validation of F. Whipple's conjecture that comet tails are made of water and hydroxil by direct analysis of the comet Kohoutek and an on the spot collaboration with Herzog in Canada and Herbig in California; the discovery of clouds of sulfur and phosphorus around Jupiter, announced by Wise Observatory (TAU) astronomers A. Eviathar, I. Kupo, and Y. Mekler was met with skepticism until NASA's Voyager radioed pictures of the fuming volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io. In the 1980s, H. Netzer and D. Maoz achieved the first precise measurements of the mass of black holes in active galactic nuclei. The Wise Observatory was then involved in several international collaborations that pursued these measurements extensively. Netzer, Maoz, and S. Caspi have since studied some of the largest black holes known to date. N. Brosh was involved in the discovery of extra-solar planetary systems by international collaborations in the 1990s. TAUVEX, a major instrumental setup for the exploration of the UV sky (quasars, etc.) built by EL-OP for TAU in 1991–95, was due to be orbited in 1996 on Soviet satellite together with 13 other experiments, but changes in the USSR first caused a postponement and finally a cancellation in 2000. The instrument is now due to be raised on an Indian satellite in 2008. Israel Dostrovsky at Weizmann designed and built the gallium-germanium neutrino-detector for the International experiment at the Gran Sasso tunnel in Italy. This experiment brought the first solid verification of John Bahcall's claim about missing solar neutrinos. In radio-astronomy, work on the sun is done by D. Eichler at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev and by L. Pustilnik at the Jordan Valley College. Research in theoretical astrophysics was done by A. Finzi at the Technion, by G. Rakavy, Z. Barkat, Z. Cinnamon at HU, G. Shaviv, M. Livio (TAU, later at the Technion), M. Contini, J. Refaeli, B. Kozlovski, A. Yahil, U. Feldman, I. Goldman A. Kowacz at TAU, Y. Avny and M. Milgrom at Weizmann. M. Gelman (Technion) leads in space physics. Work in cosmology started with the discovery of the first quasars, when I. Novikov in the U.S.S.R. (1964) and Y. Ne'eman (1965) independently suggested that quasars are lagging-cores in the cosmological expansion. Ne'eman and G. Tauber further developed this model, while it became clear that it does not fit the quasars. This model was in fact a very simple precursor of the presently used Eternal and Infinite Multi-core Inflationary Cosmology suggested by A. Linde after A. Guth's inflation hypothesis. In recent years, work in cosmology is mainly conducted at HU under the leadership of Avishay Dekel. (Yuval Ne'eman (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Physics — (Greek: physis φύσις), in everyday terms, is the science of matter [R. P. Feynman, R. B. Leighton, M. Sands (1963), The Feynman Lectures on Physics , ISBN 0 201 02116 1 Hard cover. p.1 1 Feynman begins with the atomic hypothesis.] and its motion …   Wikipedia

  • Physics — Специализация: Физика Периодичность: еженедельно Язык: Английский Адрес редакции: physics@aps.org Главный редактор: Джессика Томас Учредител …   Википедия

  • physics — [fiz′iks] n. [transl. of L physica, physics < Gr (ta) physika (lit., natural things), name given to the physical treatises of ARISTOTLE: see PHYSIC] 1. Obs. natural philosophy 2. a) the science dealing with the properties, changes,… …   English World dictionary

  • Physics — Phys ics, n. [See {Physic}.] The science of nature, or of natural objects; that branch of science which treats of the laws and properties of matter, and the forces acting upon it; especially, that department of natural science which treats of the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • physics — UK US /ˈfɪzɪks/ noun [U] ► the scientific study of matter and energy: »He studied Physics at university before becoming an engineer. »a physics lab/researcher/degree …   Financial and business terms

  • physics — (n.) 1580s, natural science, from PHYSIC (Cf. physic) in sense of natural science. Also see ICS (Cf. ics). Specific sense of science treating of properties of matter and energy is from 1715. Physicist coined 1840 by the Rev. William Whewell (1794 …   Etymology dictionary

  • physics — physics, philosophy of …   Philosophy dictionary

  • physics — ► PLURAL NOUN (treated as sing. ) 1) the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. 2) the physical properties and phenomena of something. DERIVATIVES physicist noun. ORIGIN Latin physica natural things …   English terms dictionary

  • physics — /fiz iks/, n. (used with a sing. v.) the science that deals with matter, energy, motion, and force. [1580 90; see PHYSIC, ICS] * * * I Science that deals with the structure of matter and the interactions between the fundamental constituents of… …   Universalium

  • physics — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ classical, Newtonian ▪ modern ▪ Einstein restructured modern physics. ▪ applied, experimental, theoretical …   Collocations dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.