Iair Arcavi

Iair Arcavi-BW


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021
  • Gravity & the Extreme Universe


  • Tel Aviv University
School of Physics and Astronomy


  • Israel


PhD (Physics), Weizmann Institute of Science
MSc (Physics), Weizmann Institute of Science
BSc (Physics & Mathematics), Tel Aviv University


Iair Arcavi studies the most energetic events in the Universe: exploding stars, stars torn apart by supermassive black holes, and neutron stars crashing together. 

Events such as these create elements crucial for life, influence galaxy and star formation, and reveal the physics of matter and radiation at extreme densities and temperatures. As such, they can help uncover the fundamental laws of nature. 

Arcavi is particularly interested in events that produce gravitational waves and new methods for capturing the light from distant stars.


Alon Fellowship, Israeli Council for Higher Education, 2018.

Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship, NASA, 2016.

Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award, UC Santa Barbara, 2015.

Dr. Moshe Gilboa Ph.D. Excellence Scholarship, Wolf Foundation, 2012. 

Dean’s prize for M.Sc. students, Weizmann Institute of Science, 2011.

Relevant Publications

Arcavi, I., The First Hours of the GW170817 Kilonova and the Importance of Early Optical and Ultraviolet Observations for Constraining Emission Models, 2018, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 855, 23. 

Arcavi, I. et al., Optical Emission from a Kilonova Following a Gravitational- Wave-Detected Neutron-Star Merger, 2017, Nature, 551, 54. 

Arcavi, I. et al., Energetic Eruptions Leading to a Peculiar Hydrogen-Rich Explosion of a Massive Star, 2017, Nature, 551, 210. 

Arcavi, I. et al., Constraints on the Progenitor of SN 2016gkg From Its Shock- Cooling Light Curve, 2017, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 837, 1. 

Arcavi, I., et al., A Continuum of H- to He-Rich Tidal Disruption Candidates With a Preference for E+A Galaxies, 2014, The Astrophysical Journal, 793, 38.