Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Itamar Procaccia
The Weizmann Institute of Science


"For groundbreaking contributions to statistical and nonlinear physics, including the Grassberger-Procaccia algorithm for obtaining the attractor dimension from chaotic time series, and approaches to describe complex multifractals, diffusion-limited aggregation, and polymer drag reduction in turbulent flows."


Born in Tel Aviv, Prof. Procaccia earned a BSc in chemistry (1973) and a PhD in theoretical chemistry (1976) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He performed postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1979, he returned to Israel and joined the Weizmann Institute later serving as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry (1987-1988 and 1989 to 2001). At the Weizmann Institute, he is the incumbent of the Barbara and Morris L. Levinson Professorial Chair in Chemical Physics and the Head of the new Braginsky Center for the Interface between Science and Humanities. Prof. Procaccia constructs the theoretical concepts needed to tackle complex phenomena in nature, which tend to be disordered, chaotic and full of strange shapes. Disorder can appear either in space ( glasses, amorphous solids), in time (non-periodic behavior) or concurrently in both space and time (e.g., turbulence.) His specific interests include nonequilibrium thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, instabilities, nonlinear systems, chaotic motions, turbulence, and the physics of friction and fracture. Among his many prizes and honors are a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2002), Member of the German National Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina (2002), member of the Royal Danish Academy of Science (2010), Member of the Acadmiae Eurpaeae (2017), Fellow of the Institute of Physics, UK (2004). He was awarded the Fiorino d'Oro (1998, Florence, Italy), and the Prize for Life Achievements in Nonlinear Dynamics, given by the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw (2002). In 2016, he received the first “Rita Levi-Montalcini Prize” In Italy. In 2017 He received the Statistical and Nonlinear Prize of the European Physical Society. He became a honorary member of the Physical Society of Uzbekistan in 2021. In 2007, he was knighted by the President of Italy, and was made a Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity. He received the 2009 Israel Prize in Physics. He is a three-time Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1987, 1992, and 1999). He was awarded the Gauss Professorship from the Academy of Science in Goettingen in 2011. In 2012 he was knighted again as the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit of the Federal Government of Brazil and served as the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecturer at the Niels Bohr International Academy in 2013. He was elected as a Chair of the Commission for Statistical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and received the AIRBUS professorship in recognition of contributions in the theory of turbulence in 2014. In 2015 He presented the S. Chandrasekhar Lectures in the IISc, Bangalore, India. Prof. Procaccia has received PhD honoris causa from the University of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil (2012) and from the University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain (2022). Prof. Procaccia is an active collector of ancient Asian art, Pre-Columbian and tribal art, and early Christian art. He is the father of two sons (Professors at Harvard and at the Technion) as well as the grandfather of six grandchildren.