Weizmann Institute of Science

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Last Updated: January 1, 2011
Other Name: N/A
Location: Rehovot, Israel
Subordinate To: Council for Higher Education
Size: Large multidisciplinary research and education institution; 2,500 scientists, technicians, and research students [1]
Facility Status: Operational

The Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) comprises approximately 2,500 scientists, technicians, and students for research devoted to biochemistry, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, and teaching in the sciences. WIS enrolls undergraduate and graduate students, as well as visiting scientists in the field. In 2009, it enrolled scientists from 29 countries. The institute maintains databases for atomic and plasma physics and a plasma laboratory. [2]

According to Avner Cohen, a leading scholarly authority on the Israeli nuclear program, the purpose of the Weizmann Institute was to create a "national cadre of accomplished nuclear scientists." [3] In 1954, the personnel and equipment conducting nuclear research at Machon 4 in Dimona were moved to the Weizmann Institute. This created the Department of Nuclear Physics. [4]

Heavy Water Production

According to Cohen, communiqués between the U.S. and Israeli governments and subsequent visits to Israel by American officials indicate that pilot-scale heavy-water production took place at the Weizmann Institute as early as the late 1950s. [5] The current status of heavy-water production at the Weizmann Institute is unknown.

[1] "In Brief," Weizmann Institute of Science, Accessed December 14, 2010, http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/site/EN.
[2] "Databases for Atomic and Plasma Physics," Plasma Laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Science, http://plasma-gate.weizmann.ac.il.
[3] Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), p. 26.
[4] Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), p. 38.
[5] Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), p. 45 and p. 105; Joseph Cirincione, Jon B. Wolfsthal and Miriam Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, Second Edition (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), p. 275.

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