Sivan Ginzburg, Ph.D.

Ph.D., Physics, Hebrew University (Israel)

Research: Modeling the interaction between young planets, their parent stars, and their birth environments to reveal clues about exoplanet origins.
Host University: University of California, Berkeley, Department of Astronomy
Year Awarded: 2018

Equally at home when writing lines of code or solving paper and pencil equations, Sivan Ginzburg approaches complex problems with simple logic. Sivan is motivated by the accomplishments of scientists throughout history who have made the most out of limited information to create breakthrough advances. As a theorist, he strives to resolve open questions about the astonishing physical properties of exoplanets by distilling complicated problems down to their essential elements and establishing specific parameters for examining available data. From gas giants that closely orbit their host stars to Super Earths with voluminous atmospheres, the most abundant types of detected new worlds challenge traditional planet formation theories. Sivan combines his passions for analytic solutions and computer science to yield accurate calculations, and uncover clues about the evolution and makeup of these strange planets.

In his fellowship, Sivan will investigate the ways planets interact with their host stars and the gas and dust cloud in which they are born. He will glean physical descriptions of the tidal interplay between young planets and their surroundings. His research may prove crucial in scientists’ efforts to interpret the observed planet population correctly—and to understand the beginnings of planets that are billions of years old. Sivan graduates from Hebrew University in May 2018 with a Ph.D. in physics.

View Sivan’s CV.

“While reading about how our knowledge of the universe developed from antiquity to the 20th century, I was astonished by how much our predecessors were able to deduce with so little. The study of exoplanets is an excellent continuation of this tradition.”