Abraham Nitzan

University of Pennsylvania

Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type:
International Member (elected 2015)


Abraham Nitzan was born in Israel in 1944, received BSc and MSc degrees from the Hebrew University, and PhD degree from Tel Aviv University (TAU) in 1972. Following post doctoral studies at MIT and the University of Chicago he has returned to Tel Aviv University in 1975 where he is a professor of Chemistry since 1982 (Emeritus since 2014). In summer 2015 he became a professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. At TAU he has served as Chairman of the School of Chemistry in 1984-7, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in 1995-8 and director of the Institute of Advanced Studies 2003-15. His research focuses on the interaction of light with molecular systems, chemical reactions in condensed phases and interfaces and charge transfer processes in such environments. He has published over 300 papers, a comprehensive text (Chemical Dynamics in Condensed Phases, Oxford U. Press, 2006), was assigned one patent and has given invited talks in over 150 scientific meetings.

During 1992-2015 Nitzan was the incumbent of the Kodesh Chair of Chemical Dynamics at Tel Aviv University. Among his main recognitions are the Humboldt Award, the Israel Chemical Society Prize (2004) and Medal (2015), the Emet Prize and the Israel Prize in Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Israel Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 he has received an honorary doctorate (Dr. Honoris Causa) from the University of Konstanz.

Research Interests

Theoretical studies of activation, relaxation and energy transfer processes in molecular systems. Theory of transport phenomena in condensed phases and on surfaces. Theory of chemical reaction rates in condensed phases. Theory of ionic diffusion and conductivity in solid ionic conductors, in polymers and in confined systems. Electromagnetic and electronic interactions in small particles and clusters Theoretical investigations of charge transfer and charge separation phenomena in condensed phases, at interfaces and in nano-junctions. Theory of molecular electronics. Numerical simulations of relaxation and transport processes.

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