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Flagship Initiative

Frontiers of the Universe

The Frontiers of the Universe flagship initiative will advance the future of physics through a deep exploration of everything from miniscule subatomic particles to the largest galaxies and beyond: to the very existence of space, time, and life itself. It will also provide a command center for Israeli space missions such as ULTRASAT, a Weizmann-designed satellite that will scan the sky to identify celestial events in real time.

By taking an intensive, inclusive approach to investigating the universe, this bold initiative will establish the Weizmann Institute as a preeminent global leader in space discovery and exploration.

Read more about the Frontiers of the Universe

The Weizmann Advantage

The Weizmann Institute is a physics powerhouse. Its theoretical physicists pioneer ways to make sense of the universe, including on the quantum level. Astrophysicists lead international collaborations in space observation and exploration and seek signs of life on other planets. Particle physicists use innovative approaches to reveal the building blocks of matter. The Frontiers of the Universe project will gather these capabilities under one roof, along with the space mission component. This will begin with ULTRASAT, a Weizmann-designed satellite that will scan the sky to identify celestial events in real time, and which is under development with the Israeli aerospace industry and partners such as NASA, thus placing the Institute – and Israel – at the forefront of scientific space exploration.


“Dramatic new revelations have occurred in recent decades, but there is so much that is still unknown. This is the motivation behind the Frontiers of the Universe flagship initiative at the Weizmann Institute of Science: to reach into the unknown and generate new insights that will inform our understanding of the Universe and beyond.”

— Prof. Alon Chen, President, Weizmann Institute of Science

The Flagship Difference

While physics may seem remote, it touches our lives in many ways: After all, it is the study of what nature is and how it works.

The Frontiers of the Universe Flagship Project will advance all areas of this field. Understanding how stars are born and die, and what they are made of, will help explain life on Earth – and its possible existence elsewhere.

Creating new telescopes and technologies will give momentum to astrophysics. Analyzing subatomic particles and developing next-generation detectors will help reveal the quantum world and unveil dark matter.

The ULTRASAT satellite will alert astronomers worldwide to supernovas, black holes, collisions, and other events in real time, transforming what we know about our complex and marvelous universe.

For the Benefit of Humanity

Much about the universe is unknown – how it formed, what it is made of, whether we are alone in its vastness.
The Frontiers of the Universe project seeks to answer such questions, empowering scientists to conduct investigations that shed truly new light on age-old mysteries.

A cutting-edge new building will be home to the extended family of Weizmann physicists and will serve as a base for space missions. Visitors here will be able to watch satellite and telescope operations live, making the Frontiers building a pilgrimage site for stargazers young and old.

From theory to experiment to community, the Frontiers flagship initiative will help us understand our world, and beyond.

Areas of focus will include:

Space missions

ULTRASAT is the first Israeli scientific space mission, and the first time the renowned Israeli aerospace industry will create satellites designed to look up, not down. Part of a major international collaboration, the project will make Israel a world leader in the field. Once launched, analysis of ULTRASAT data will be headquartered in the new building.

Design of new astrophysics tools

Weizmann Institute physicists are technological innovators who have made major contributions to astrophysics observation and analysis. Some of these prominent technologists are currently branching out into new directions. Dr. Ranny Budnick, active in the XENON project in Italy, is designing new experimental approaches for the search for dark matter. Dr. Sagi Ben-Ami is designing instruments for detecting oxygen in planetary atmospheres (an indication of the planet’s ability to support life). And Dr. Eran Ofek is developing new telescopes that will make is possible to examine the far reaches of our solar system.

Design of new particle physics tools

Weizmann scientists have been instrumental in the design of ATLAS at CERN, and continue to work on projects at the LHC. They are part of the planning team that is defining the European particle physics strategy for post-2035 (the end of ATLAS). They are also moving the field forward. For example, Dr. Shikma Bressler is working on a new approach for neutrino detection, which was presented to a conference at the Fermi lab in Chicago. Dr. Noam Hod is collaborating with DAISY (Hamburg, Germany) on a new technological concept for particle detection.

Promoting advancement in physics theory

The physical space for the Schwartz Reisman Institute of Theoretical Physics (SRitpP) was created by “fitting it in” to an existing building. In the new building, this will be expanded, and will create better support for additional activities, conferences, and workshops. This shared physical space will bring the Institute’s community of astrophysicists, particle physicists, and cosmologists together, while making it a more productive facility for sparking new ideas and collaboration with researchers from other institutions.


The new building will be designed to welcome the general public. An “operating theater” concept is under development, one that would allow schoolchildren to observe and learn about the scientists’ activity without disturbing it. Such activities could be integrated with existing educational programs at the Davidson Institute of Science Education, the Schwarz/Reisman Science Education Center, or the Kraar Observatory.



Across the Universe: Israeli Tech to Reach Deep Space for the First Time

The Ultra Stable Oscillator, designed for an experiment led by Weizmann Institute scientists, is at the forefront of ESA’s JUICE mission to Jupiter

NASA to Launch Israel’s First Space Telescope Mission, ULTRASAT

A Weizmann Institute of Science and Israel Space Agency flagship, the instrument will enter orbit in 2026; it’s expected to revolutionize research of the universe

A quantum leap for the Frontiers building

Dr. Mark Alexander is helping to lay the foundation for the physics of the future

Hooked on space

For Staff Scientist Dr. David Polishook, there’s always been something about space

Going out with a bang

Surprising findings from a first-of-its-kind exploding star

Are you passionate about exploring the frontiers of the universe, better understanding the physics of our world and beyond and the potential of science to make a difference in the world? If so, we invite you to get in touch with us!

Questions? Get in touch!

Zohar Menshes

Executive Vice President

Larisa Claru

Director for Resource Development

Roberta Breiter

Roberta Breiter

Director for Resource Development DACH

Alexandra Ferenczy

Erez Manhaimer

Director for Resource Development
Central and Northern Europe