From: Weizmann Institute
First Rosa and Emilio Segrè Research Award presented to Weizmann Institute Professor Daniel Zajfman
Award to further physics research in the spirit of Emilio Segrè, Nobel Laureate
The first Rosa and Emilio Segrè Research Award, named after 1959 Nobel Laureate in Physics Emilio Segrè and his wife, Rosa, was presented this month at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.
The Segrè Award, an annual research grant, will help support an outstanding young physicist at the Weizmann Institute. This year's recipient, Dr. Daniel Zajfman, is an associate professor in the Department of Particle Physics. Dr. Zajfman's research focuses on the physics of simple molecular ions. He heads a new laboratory currently under construction at the Institute for the study of molecular astrophysics. When completed, Dr. Zajfman's lab will be the first of its kind to simulate a variety of conditions existing in space. His research may help expand our understanding of astronomy and space exploration.
Professor Emilio Segrè's work was primarily in atomic and nuclear physics; his research led to the discovery of three elements of the periodic table. Along with Owen Chamberlain, he received the Nobel Prize for discovering antiprotons. Before his death in 1989, Dr. Segrè was Professor of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley.
Speaking at the Segrè Award presentation ceremony on the campus of the Weizmann Institute, Professor Segrè's daughter, Dr. Amelia Segrè Terkel of Israel, described her father as having "an endless curiosity, not only about his own field, but a genuine interest in other unrelated fields as well." She also spoke about Rosa's dedication to Emilio's memory after his death, when she published his autobiography and helped establish the Segrè Lectures at the University of California at Berkeley. Rosa's life ended tragically at the age of 71, when she was run over by a car in Tivoli, the same city where Emilio's life began.
Dr. Segrè Terkel said that her family was very pleased that Rosa chose to leave a bequest to the Weizmann Institute, one that would advance the study of physics. She added that her late father would have been fascinated by the research being conducted at Weizmann by Professor Zajfman.
Professor Emilio Segrè had links to Israel and served on the San Francisco Bay Area regional board of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute (ACWIS). After his death, the Bay Area office maintained their relationship with Rosa, who eventually established a major legacy for the Institute.
"The Weizmann Institute is honored to be able to grant the Segrè award, thanks to the generosity of Rosa Segrè," Professor Haim Harari, President of the Institute said. "Emilio Segrè's brilliant work and passion for physics is very much alive at Weizmann, and now that tradition becomes even stronger, with the introduction of the Segrè Award."
The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and engineers, pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and the enhancement of humanity. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment, and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities at Weizmann.