Reuven Opher Memorial Symposium

January 23, 2021 (by videoconference)

Zoom ID: 946 3098 4298

Password: cosmo

Please send an e-mail to thiago AT, if you have any access problem.

ICTP-SAIFR, São Paulo, Brazil


Reuven Opher, Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of São Paulo (IAG-USP), passed away on November 28, 2020. He was 88 years old and he has touched the lives of many people during his long career.

Reuven was born Raymond Fox in New York City in 1932. He obtained his PhD in 1958 from Harvard University in the field of experimental nuclear physics, having the Nobel laureate Norman Ramsey as thesis advisor. He immigrated to Israel in 1962, where he adopted his hebrew name. Between 1962 and 1982, he worked at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), where he became full Professor.

Starting in 1978, he spent a couple of sabbatical years at the former CRAAM-ON Institute in São Paulo. He was then invited to work at the Astronomy Department of IAG-USP, where he stayed until his retirement in 2002. He then joined the Senior Teaching program and continued to work at IAG-USP until 2014, and in 2015 he became an Emeritus Professor of the University of São Paulo. Finally, he moved back to the US where his twin daughters have very successful academic careers in Physics and Astrophysics. He was living in New York City, where he was active in teaching courses at the Institute for Retired Professionals.

At IAG-USP, Reuven introduced the research area of Plasma Astrophysics, supervising many graduate students in studies of fundamental plasma processes applied to compact objects, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, and cosmology. Most of his former students are currently professors in different institutions in Brazil and abroad. In his long professional career of more than 60 uninterrupted years of activity Reuven published hundreds of articles in several different fields. He was also the creator of the series of conferences “New Physics in Space” (since 2002) and “Challenges of New Physics in Space (since 2008), which had a huge impact on the astrophysical community in Brazil.

This one-day Symposium honors Reuven’s incredibly diverse career and brings together friends, colleagues, former students and family members to remember his accomplishments and his influence on their lives.

There will be no registration form and everybody is welcome to participate.




  • José Carlos Neves de Araújo (INPE, Brazil)
  • Vera Jatenco (IAG-USP, Brazil)
  • Elisabete M. de Gouveia Dal Pino (IAG-USP, Brazil)
  • Rogerio Rosenfeld (IFT-UNESP/ICTP-SAIFR, Brazil)



10:00 -10:30 Opening and brief scientific overview – Rogerio Rosenfeld

10:30-11:00 Technion years – Stephen Lipson & Yehoshua Felsteiner

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15-11:45 First years in Brazil – Zulema Abraham & Jacques Lepine

11:45-12:15 Opher as a supervisor – Elisabete Maria de Gouveia Dal Pino & Vera Jatenco

12:15-14:00 Lunch and open Zoom

14:00-14:15 Nova Física no Espaço – George Matsas

14:15-14:30 Challenges of New Physics in Space – Ioav Waga

14:30-14:45 Break

14:45-15:00 Sarah White

15:00-15:30 Michal Lipson & Merav Opher

15:30 – 16:00 Testimonies from the participants

Closing: Vera Jatenco and José Carlos Neves de Araújo

Additional Information