Yakir Aharonov

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Yakir Aharonov
Born (1932-08-28) 28 August 1932 (age 91)
Alma materTechnion (BSc)
Bristol University (PhD)
Known forAharonov–Bohm effect
Aharonov–Casher effect
Weak values
Two-state vector formalism
Quantum Cheshire cat
RelativesDorit Aharonov
AwardsWeizmann Prize (1984)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1991)
Wolf Prize (1998)
National Medal of Science (2009)
Scientific career
FieldsQuantum physics
InstitutionsPerimeter Institute
Chapman University
Tel Aviv University
University of South Carolina
George Mason University
Brandeis University
Yeshiva University
Doctoral advisorDavid Bohm
Doctoral studentsDavid Albert
Avshalom Elitzur
Lev Vaidman
Sandu Popescu

Yakir Aharonov (Hebrew: יקיר אהרונוב; born August 28, 1932)[1] is an Israeli physicist specializing in quantum physics. He has been a Professor of Theoretical Physics and the James J. Farley Professor of Natural Philosophy at Chapman University in California since 2008.[2] He was a distinguished professor in the Perimeter Institute between 2009-2012[3][4] and is a professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University and at University of South Carolina. He is president of the IYAR, The Israeli Institute for Advanced Research.[5]


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 Ph.D. degree in 1960. Aharonov later taught at the Brandeis University from 1960 to 1961 and the Yeshiva University from 1964 to 1967, both in the United States.[2]

Married to Nily, an educational psychologist, and father of two. His brother, Dov Aharonov, is a professor emeritus at the Faculty of Mathematics at the Technion, and his niece, Dorit Aharonov, is a professor at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Academic career[edit]

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[6] for which he co-received the 1998 Wolf Prize.[7]

In 1988, Aharonov, David Albert, and Lev Vaidman published their theory of weak values.[8] 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.[9] Working with Aharon Casher, they predicted the Aharonov–Casher effect, the electrodynamic dual of the Aharonov–Bohm effect with magnetic dipoles and charges.[2]


  • 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 recognition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Yakir Aharonov's Homepage at Chapman University". Chapman University. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Seckbach, Fern Lee; Rossing, Ruth (2007). "AHARONOV, YAKIR (1932–)". Encyclopaedia Judaica. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Thomson Gale. p. 537. ISBN 978-0-02-865929-9.
  3. ^ "Nine Leading Researchers Join Stephen Hawking as Distinguished Research Chairs at PI - Perimeter Institute". www.perimeterinstitute.ca. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Aharonov, Yakir, 1932-". history.aip.org. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  5. ^ "אייר - המכון הישראלי למחקר מתקדם - סגל המכון". www.iyar.org.il. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  6. ^ Aharonov, Y; Bohm, D (1959). "Significance of electromagnetic potentials in quantum theory". Physical Review. 115 (3): 485–491. Bibcode:1959PhRv..115..485A. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.115.485.
  7. ^ "Yakir Aharonov". Wolf Foundation. 2018-12-10. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  8. ^ Yakir Aharonov; David Z. Albert; Lev Vaidman (1988). "How the result of a measurement of a component of the spin of a spin-1/2 particle can turn out to be 100". Physical Review Letters. 60 (14): 1351–1354. Bibcode:1988PhRvL..60.1351A. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.60.1351. PMID 10038016.
  9. ^ "Can the future affect the past?". Physics World. 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  10. ^ "APS Fellow Archive". www.aps.org. Archived from the original on 11 March 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site – Recipients in 1989 (in Hebrew)". Archived from the original on 2012-03-07.
  12. ^ Simply-Smart. "תוצאות חיפוש". www.wolffund.org.il. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobel Laureates". www.newswire.ca. Archived from the original on 2023-07-12. Retrieved 2023-10-04.
  14. ^ Analytics, Clarivate. "ScienceWatch.com - Clarivate Analytics". science.thomsonreuters.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  15. ^ "National-Academies.org - Winners of National Medals of Science, Technology Announced". www.nationalacademies.org. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2018.

External links[edit]