Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Aharon Kapitulnik
Stanford University


"For discovery and pioneering investigations of the superconductor-insulator transition, a paradigm for quantum phase transitions."


Aharon Kapitulnik is the Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor in Applied Physics at the Departments of Applied Physics and Physics Stanford University. He received both, his undergraduate (1978) and graduate (1983) degrees from Tel-Aviv University in Israel. After a post-doctoral research position at UC Santa Barbara’s Physics, he briefly became Assistant Professor in Residence at the same University. Kapitulnik joined the Applied Physics department at Stanford University in 1985, and since 1993 was appointed jointly in the Applied Physics and Physics Departments.

Kapitulnik’s research activities focus on studies of phenomena associated with the behavior of correlated and disordered electron systems, particularly in reduced dimensions, and the development of precision detection instrumentation. In particular he developed the Sagnac Interferometer for sensitive detection of time-reversal symmetry breaking effects in solids, and novel, cantilever-based, instrumentation for testing inverse-square-law of gravity at sub-mm distance. He has also been engaged in scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy studies of correlated electron systems including the cuprates and topological insulators. Among other recognitions, his activities earned him an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1986-90), a Presidential Young Investigator Award (1987-92), a Sackler Scholar at Tel-Aviv University (2006), the Heike Kamerlingh Onnes Prize (2009), and a RTRA’s Senior Chair (Palaiseau-Orsay-Saclay triangle de la Physique, 2010). Aharon Kapitulnik is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Selection Committee:

Laura Greene, Chair; L. Balents; P. Kim; P. McEuen; D. Weitz; D. Arovas