Dr. Rivka Bekenstein

ITAMP Postdoctoral Fellow - theoretical and experimental Physicists

Following her military service Rivka Bekenstein received her Physics degree Cum Laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2010. She then joined Prof. Mordechai (Moti) Segev group at the Technion for her PhD, where she had created the first simulation of the Newton-Schrodinger system. A model that unifies quantum mechanics with Newtonian gravity, describing the gravitational self-interaction of a quantum wavepacket, and is mostly important due to the lack of a unified theory of quantum gravity. Rivka demonstrated the first experimental analogue of the Newton-Schrodinger model. She came up with an optical analogue by exploiting a nonlinear thermo-optic effect with an infinite interaction range, to induce a long-range nonlocal nonlinearity acting on the light. She was able to observe various gravitation effect in this nonlocal nonlinear regime of gravity. Rivka also demonstrated control over light propagating in curved space settings, suggesting a new platoform of nanophotonic structures facilitating intricate designs in three dimensions inspired by general relativity concepts. In this setting, the evolution of light is controlled solely through the space curvature of the medium.
Rivka have received recognition for her Phd thesis; she is the recipient of the APS thesis award – the Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in AMO Physics (2018), and the Israel Physical Society award (2017).
For her postdoc Rivka decided to change her research area to quantum information science where her main goal is achieving better understanding on the relation between gravity and quantum mechanics. As an ITAMP fellow at Harvard university she is working with Prof. Mikhail (Misha) Lukin, on quantum optical settings in relation to gravity models.

Research Interests: 
Gravity analogues in table-top experiments, Quantum nanophotonics, Quantum information, Relation between gravity and quantum mechanics
Selected Honors and Awards: 

2018 Deborah Jin Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics (DAMOP, APS).
2016 ITAMP Postdoctoral Fellowship (Harvard University)
2016 Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellowship
2016 Excellent teaching assistance award, Technion
2015 Israel Physical Society award for graduate student in Theoretical Physics
2014-2016 Adams Fellowship of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities for outstanding Ph.D. students
2013 Daniel Scholarship for excellent graduate students
2012 Israel Ministry of Science and Technology Fellowship for the Advancement of Women in Science and Technology (again in 2014)
2011 Excellent teaching assistance award, Technion
2010 B.Sc. Cum Laude, Faculty of Science, Hebrew University

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