Yuval Ne'eman


Yuval Ne'eman

MKs


Date of birth = 14 May 1925
Place of birth = Tel Aviv, Mandate Palestine
Year of Aliyah =
Date of death = 26 April 2006
Place of death = Tel Aviv, Israel
Knesset(s) = 10th, 11th, 12th
Party = Tehiya
Former parties =
Gov't roles = Minister of Science & Development
Minister of Science & Technology
Minister of Energy & Infrastructure

Yuval Ne'eman ( _he. יובל נאמן, born 14 May 1925, died 26 April 2006), was an Israeli soldier, physicist and politician, serving as a Minister during the 1980s and early 1990s. He was a self-declared atheist. [ [http://physicaplus.org.il/zope/home/en/1124811264/memorial_neeman_en "In Remembrance of Yuval Ne'eman"] by Teddy Ne'eman (son of Yuval Ne'eman), PhysicaPlus (פיזיקהפלוס), online magazine of the Israel Physical Society, Issue No. 7]

Background

He was born in Tel Aviv during the Mandate era, graduated from high school at the age of 15, and studied mechanical engineering in the Technion. At the age of 15, Ne'eman also joined the Hagana. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War in 1948 Neeman served in the Israeli Defense Forces as battalion deputy commander, then as Operations Officer of Tel Aviv, and commander of Givati Brigade. Later (1952–1954) he served as Deputy Commander of Operations Department of General Staff, Commander of Planning Department of IDF. In this role, he helped organize the IDF into a reservist-based army, developed the mobilization system, and wrote the first draft of the Israel defense doctrine. Between 1958 and 1960 Ne'eman was IDF Attaché in Great Britain, where he also studied for a Ph.D. in physics under supervision of Abdus Salam at Imperial College London. In 1961, he was demobilized from the IDF with a rank of Colonel.

cientific career

One of his greatest achievements in physics was his discovery (in 1962, independently from Murray Gell-Mann) of the classification of hadrons through their SU(3) flavour symmetry—today known as the quark model. A Nobel Prize for this discovery was given to Murray Gell-Mann but not to Prof. Ne'eman, a fact which left him with much frustration in years to come. Nevertheless, Ne'eman made other important contributions in his scientific career to particle physics, astrophysics, cosmology and the philosophy of science.

Ne'eman was founder and director of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University from 1965 to 1972, president of Tel Aviv University from 1971 to 1975, and director of its Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies from 1979 to 1997. He was also the director of the Center for Particle Theory at the University of Texas, Austin from 1968 to 1990.

In 1969, he received the Israel Prize in the field of exact sciences and the Einstein Medal for his unique contribution in the field of physics. In 2003, he received the EMET Prize for Arts, Sciences and Culture for his pioneering contribution in the deciphering of the atomic nucleus and its components, and for his enormous scientific contribution to the development of sub-atomic physics in Israel.

A strong believer in the importance of space research and satellites to the country's economic future and security, Ne'eman founded the Israeli Space Agency in 1983 and chaired it almost until his death. He also served on the Atomic Energy Commission from 1965 to 1984 and held the position of scientific director in its Soreq facility. Neeman was chief scientist of the Defense Ministry from 1974 to 1976.

Political career

In the late 1970s, Ne'eman founded Tehiya, a right-wing breakaway from Likud, formed in opposition to Menachem Begin's support for the Camp David talks that paved the way for peace with Egypt and the evacuation of Yamit. He was elected to the Knesset in the 1981 elections in which Tehiya won three seats. The party joined Begin's coalition about a year after the elections and Neeman was appointed Minister of Science and Development, the role later changed to Minister of Science and Technology.

He retained his seat in the 1984, but Tehiya were not included in the grand coalition formed by the Alignment and Likud. After the 1988 elections Tehiya were again excluded from the governing coalition. Ne'eman resigned from the Knesset on 31 January 1990 and was replaced by Elyakim Haetzni. However, in June Tehiya joined the government after the Alignment had left, and he was appointed Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Minister of Science and Technology despite not retaking his seat in the Knesset. He lost his ministerial position in the 1992 elections and did not return to politics.

He died at the age of 81, on April 26, 2006 in Tel Aviv, due to an acute stroke. He left a wife, Dvora, a son and daughter, and a sister, Ruth Ben-Yisrael.

References

External links

* [http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2006/426/1 Science obituary]
* [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=709844 Haaretz obituary]
* [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1145961234977&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull Jerusalem Post obituary]
* [http://www.slac.stanford.edu/spires/find/hep/www?rawcmd=find+a+Neeman,y Yuval Ne'eman's papers in SPIRES database]
* [http://www.jinfo.org/Physicists.html Jewish Physicists list]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1774892,00.html The Guardian obituary]


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