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Itai Linial 2018-2019

Institution of PhD:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Academic Discipline of PhD:
PhD Advisor/s:
Prof. Re’em Sari
Dissertation Topic:
Common-Envelope Evolution of Binary Stars and Planetary Dynamics
Present Academic Position:
PhD Student

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Itai has always been drawn both to nature and to science. During high school, he participated in several scientific programs and tournaments and began taking physics and math courses at the Hebrew University. After four years of army service in an intelligence corps technological unit, Itai returned to Jerusalem to complete his BSc in physics and mathematics.

Upon completing both BSc degrees cum laude, Itai started his physics MSc under the supervision of Prof. Re’em Sari, studying the stable mass transfer between stars and supermassive black holes and their evolution under the influence of gravitational waves. He later worked on planetary dynamics, developing a novel method for extracting the mass and density of extrasolar planets from observations of small variations in their orbits.

As a PhD student in Sari’s group, Itai continues to pursue his passion for astrophysics. For now, he is working on theoretical aspects of the mutual evolution of binary star systems in the common-envelope phase. This evolution may be an important formation channel of binary black holes and neutron stars, which merge due to the emission of gravitational radiation. The recent groundbreaking discoveries of gravitational waves by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations mark the emergence of a new field in astronomy. Itai hopes in the near future to explore the theoretical challenges and opportunities that this field will bring.