Prof. Rennan Barkana

חוג לפיזיקה ואסטרונומיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Phone: 03-6405993
Fax: 03-6408179
Office: Kaplun, 111


Prof. Rennan Barkana (Full Professor) focuses on the era of the formation of the first stars and resulting signatures in 21-cm radio waves. This includes such topics as cosmic dawn (early X-ray heating, Lyman-alpha coupling, Lyman-Werner feedback), cosmic reionization (stars and black holes as UV sources, photoheating feedback), dark matter (possible interactions that cool the cosmic gas, effects of the streaming velocity relative to normal matter), and the corresponding 21-cm signatures (in the sky-averaged global 21-cm signal, in the power spectrum of 21-cm fluctuations, and in 3-D intensity maps).


Research achievements include: showing that a surprising signal observed by the EDGES radio telescope could be the first proof of a non-gravitational interaction between dark matter and normal matter; pointing out that early X-ray sources likely had hard spectra, resulting in a delayed cosmic heating and a more complex 21-cm signal than previously expected; showing that early galaxies were affected by the streaming velocity of dark matter relative to normal matter in a way that predicts a clear observational signature.


Future directions include: comparing model predictions based on the above inputs with data from radio telescopes ranging from small global experiments to the Square Kilometre Array.


  • B.A. in Physics and Math, University of Pennsylvania, 1993

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1997

Academic Appointments

  • Postdoctoral Member, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ, USA), 1997-2000

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (Toronto, Canada), 2000-2001

  • Senior Lecturer, Tel Aviv University, 2001-2009

  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Tokyo (Japan), 2007-2008

  • Moore Distinguished Scholar, Caltech (CA, USA), 2008

  • Associate Professor, Tel Aviv University, 2009 – 2015

  • Lagrange Award winner, Institut D'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), France, 2015

  • Leverhulme Visiting Professor, and Visiting Fellow of Mansfield College, University of Oxford, UK, 2015-2016

  • Visiting Professor, The Perimeter Institute, Canada

  • Professor, Tel Aviv University, 2015-present

  • Head of the Department of Astrophysics, Tel Aviv University, 2016-present

Awards and Prizes

  • B.A. Summa Cum Laude (and with honors), University of Pennsylvania, 1993

  • Compton Fellowship, MIT, 1993-1995

  • Alon Fellowship, Israeli Council of Higher Education, 2001-2004

  • Moore Distinguished Scholar, Caltech (CA, USA), 2008

  • Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2007-2008

  • Lagrange Award, Institute Lagrange de Paris (ILP), France, 2015

  • Leverhulme Visiting Professorship, Leverhulme Trust (UK), 2015

  • Visiting Fellowship, Mansfield College, University of Oxford (UK)

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