Amos de-Shalit

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Amos de-Shalit
Amos De Shalit.jpg
Born (1926-09-29)September 29, 1926
Jerusalem, Mandate Palestine
Died September 2, 1969(1969-09-02) (aged 42)
Nationality Israeli
Fields Nuclear Physics
Institutions Weizmann Institute of Science
Alma mater Hebrew University of Jerusalem
ETH Zurich
Known for Nuclear Shell Model

Amos de-Shalit (Hebrew: עמוס דה-שליט‎; September 29, 1926 – September 2, 1969[1]) was a distinguished Israeli nuclear physicist.


Amos de-Shalit was born in 1926 in Jerusalem in the Palestine Mandate. He grew up in Tel Aviv and graduated from Gymnasia Balfour.

In 1949, de-Shalit earned his master's degree in physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writing his M.Sc. thesis under the guidance of Giulio Racah. During the Israeli War of Independence, he served in the IDF Science Corps, together with other students of Professor Racah. During the war, de-Shalit, together with some other students, sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, stressing that the future of physics is nuclear physics and cosmic radiation. As a consequence, a number of students, including de-Shalit, were sent to the world's top nuclear institutions to gain the requisite knowledge. In 1951, he earned his doctorate at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. From 1952 to 1954, he was a research fellow at Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and spent some time at the Saclay Atomic Research Institute in France.

In 1954, de-Shalit was asked to establish the Department of Nuclear Physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, which he headed for ten years. While working at the Weizmann Institute, he also served as a consultant to the Israel Ministry of Defense. From 1961 to 1963, de-Shalit served as science director of the Weizmann Institute and from 1966 to 1969, he served as the Institutes's Chief Executive/General Manager.[2]

He died in 1969, not yet 43 years old, from acute pancreatitis. Amos de-Shalit was married to Nechama.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • In 1962, de-Shalit was elected as a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  • In 1965, he was awarded the Israel Prize in exact sciences, together with his colleague Professor Igal Talmi,[3] for their work on "shell model" in nuclear physics.
  • The De Shalit High School and two junior sister high schools in Rehovot were renamed after him.
  • In 1974, In conjunction with the Weizmann Institute, the "Amos de-Shalit Foundation" was founded to foster an increased awareness of the important role of science among Israeli youth, and "Amos de-Shalit Summer School program" was launched in his name.[4]


Amos de-Shalit's sons, Ehud and Avner, are professors, of mathematics and political science respectively, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His sister, Tamar, was married to Arthur Goldreich.

Published works[edit]

Theoretical Nuclear Physics: Nuclear Structure v. 1 Amos de-Shalit (Author), Herman Feshbach (Author) John Wiley and Sons

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Article entitled Amos de-Shalit (in Hebrew) Davar newspaper, September 3, 1969
  2. ^ Newspaper article (in Hebrew) Haaretz newspaper, October 12, 1966
  3. ^ "Israel Prize recipients in 1965 (in Hebrew)". Israel Prize Official Site. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011 by WebCite.  Check date values in: |archivedate= (help)
  4. ^ De-Shalit reunion Weizmann Institute website