History of the Department

Condensed Matter Physics - History of the Department

The experimental Solid State Physics research laboratory in Tel Aviv University (TAU) was set up in 1966, only three years after the Physics Department was founded by Prof. Yuval Ne'eman. Although a High Energy Physics theorist himself, Ne'eman played a crucial role in the initial setting up of the Solid State Physics group, which evolved into today's Condensed Matter Physics Department in the School of Physics and Astronomy. He gathered, early on, some of the world's leading researchers in superconductivity, critical phenomena, low-temperature physics, high-pressure physics, percolation, and composite media. 


Following these acquisitions, a number of experimental research teams were formed, including a world famous laboratory of superconductivity, a high-pressure physics group, an infra-red laser physics lab, and mesoscopic physics labs. Theoretical research groups on critical phenomena in phase transitions, superconductivity, superfluid helium, composite media, biophysics and soft matter physics were also set up. It is worth adding that some years before the breakup of the Soviet Union, leading scientists, some of them prominent Refuseniks, emigrated from that country, joined the Condensed Matter Physics Department, and helped to make it a leading center of research and advanced education.


Today, that department conducts thorough research programs in the most modern fields of Condensed Matter Physics, experimental as well as theoretical. Our former graduate students, can be found occupying positions at top universities and industries in Israel and all over the world.


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