Joshua Jortner

Tel Aviv University
Physical chemist; Educator
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
International Honorary Member

Professor Joshua Jortner is the Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the Tel Aviv University. He received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1960. From 1973-2003, he has held the position of the Heinemann Professor of Chemistry at the School of Chemistry, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences of Tel Aviv University. He has held a Professorship at the University of Chicago (part time appointment 1964-71), and Visiting Professorships at the University of Copenhagen (1974, 1978), and the University of California, Berkeley (1975). In 1977, he was the Fairchild Fellow at the California Institute of Technology, in 1995 he was the Christensen Visiting Fellow, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, and from 1998-2000 he was appointed to the International Research Chair "Blaise Pascal" of the Fondation de l'École Normale Supérieure, France. A member of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities, he is a member of thirteen Academies of Sciences and Learned Societies in the United States, Europe and Asia. He is a member of the three Academies of the USA, serving as a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Philosophical Society and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of the United States of America. He served as the President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1986-1995), and as the first Chairman of the Israel National Science Foundation (1986-1995), which propelled into the country's major granting agency. He acted as Science Advisor to three Prime Ministers of Israel, Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres (1987-1995). On the international arena, he served as the President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (1998-2000). Joshua Jortner's scientific interests span a broad range of areas in physical chemistry and theoretical chemistry. Jortner's scientific research focuses on the exploration of the phenomena of energy acquisition, storage and disposal in isolated molecules, clusters, condensed phases and biophysical systems. He made outstanding contributions to the understanding of the dynamics of complex chemical systems from large molecules to biomolecules, first through the development of the theory of intramolecular radiationless transitions, then through the theory of electron transfer including charge separation in photosynthesis and in biopolymers, and through the establishment of cluster size effects and dynamics of large finite systems from clusters to ultracold gases. His work pioneered the concept of structure-dynamics-function relations for biophysical and chemical change. His scientific contributions had an audible impact on the development of chemical dynamics, photoselective laser chemistry, ultrafast chemistry, molecular electronics and nanoscience. 

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