Igal Talmi

Igal Talmi ( born January 31, 1925 in Kiev) is an Israeli theoretical nuclear physicist.

Talmi emigrated in 1925 with his family to Palestine. They lived in the commune founded in 1921 ( " moshav " ) Kfar Yehezkel in Afula in the Jezreel Valley. Talmi attended high school in Tel Aviv ( completion 1942) and studied physics from 1943 when Giulio Racah at the Hebrew University, where he graduated in 1947. 1947 to 1949 he fought in the Haganah ( Palmach ) in the Israeli War of Independence. In 1949 he went to the ETH Zurich, where he received his doctorate with Wolfgang Pauli in 1952. 1952-1954 he as a post-doc at Princeton University with Eugene Wigner was. From 1954, he was, like his colleague Amos de Shalit at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he was professor in 1958. From 1967, he was ( as was the successor of de Shalit, the director, but died early in 1969 ) to 1976 Head of the Division of Nuclear Physics at the Weizmann Institute. 1970 to 1984 he was Dean of the Faculty of Physics at the Weizmann Institute. In 1994 he retired. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University and the State University of New York ( SUNY ).

Talmi is mainly known for work on the shell model of atomic nuclei, about which he wrote a textbook with de Shalit. In the 1980s he busied himself with the shell model basis of the Interacting Boson Approximation.

In 1965 he was awarded with de Shalit for his work the Israel Prize for its work on the shell model. In 1962 he received the Weizmann Prize of the city of Tel Aviv, in 1971 the Rothschild prize and in 2000 the Hans A. Bethe - Prize of the American Physical Society. In 2003 he received the Israeli E.M.T. Price.

He was also involved in the Israeli nuclear program. He was in the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission.

Since 1963 he is member of the Israel Academy of Sciences, where he was from 1974 to 1980 Chairman of the Science Department ( Chairman of the Division of Science).

He was married since 1949 and has a son and a daughter.


  • With Amos de Shalit: Nuclear Shell Theory, Academic Press 1963, Dover 2004
  • Simple Models of Complex Nuclei: The Shell Model and Interacting Boson Model the Harwood Academic Publishers 1993