Astrophysics and Relativity


With recent developments: the discovery of gravitational waves, extrasolar planetary systems, ultra high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos, distant galaxies and black holes and fast radio bursts, Astrophysics is at the center of research today. The field adresses some of the top open questions in science today like what is the origin of Dark Energy and Dark Matter or how can we search for extraterrestrial life or what is the origin of the heaviest elements in the universe.

The astrophysics group at the Hebrew University deals with all the above questions and more. While most of the research is theoretical we also carry out observations (mostly in Radio Astronomy). The group runs a computer cluster of several thousand cores that carries out advanced numerical computations. Lastly, a relatively large (0.5 meter) optical telescope was installed on the top of Ross Building, its main use is for educational purposes. 

The main research topics in the group are:

  • High Energy Astrophysics, for example, γ-ray bursts, cosmic rays, tidal disruption events.

  • Compact Objects, such as the physics of and around different stellar remnants, black holes and neutron stars.

  • Stellar Structure, i.e. the life, evolution and death of stars.

  • Planetary Science, like the formation of the Solar system and other exo-planetary systems.

  • Galactic physics, including topics such as galaxy formation and evolution.

  • Cosmology, understanding the universe as a whole.

  • General Relativity.


Members of Astrophysics and Relativity

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Shmuel Balberg

Senior Lecturer
02 6586851
Popick 112
Theoretical astrophysics. Radiation hydrodynamics. Supernovae. Neutron stars.
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Avishai Dekel

Full Professor
02 6584100
Ross 215
Cosmology. Formation of galaxies and large-scale structure in the universe.
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Ami Glasner

Associate Professor
02 6584727
Popick 131
Novae. Supernovae Type Ia. Type I X-ray bursts. Convection and mixing in stars. Late stages of stellar evolution.
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Orly Gnat

Senior Lecturer
02 6584215
Popick 114
Theoretical & Numerical Astrophysics. Intergalactic medium. Non-equilibrium processes in astrophysical plasma.
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Tsvi Piran

Full Professor
Schwartzman chair
02 6584233
Ross 205
Relativistic Astrophysics. High Energy Astrophysics. General Relativity. Black hole. neutron stars. Gamma-ray Bursts. Gravitational Waves.