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Anael Ben-Asher - 2021 Ruth Arnon Fellow

Anael was raised in Karmiel, Western Galilee. Always fond of mathematics, she won an award for a creative solution in the Weizmann Institute’s math competition for middle-school students. While still in high school, Anael enrolled in academic courses in chemistry in the framework of the “Archimedes” program at the Technion, where she discovered the beauty of the chemistry world. She won the second prize in the “Chemiada,” the Israeli national chemistry competition for high school students, and she was a member of the Israeli delegation to the International Chemistry Youth Olympiad.
After serving in the IDF as a technological intelligence researcher, Anael completed her B.Sc. in chemistry at the Technion and graduated summa cum laude. During her studies, she became fascinated by quantum chemistry and by the possibility of using mathematical tools to theoretically explain chemical processes. Anael started researching quantum chemistry as an undergraduate under the supervision of Prof. Nimrod Moiseyev, where she has continued her research as a graduate student in a direct Ph.D. track.
Anael’s research concentrates on the non-Hermitian quantum scattering theory, a framework for
studying scattering processes in which the scattered particles populate a metastable (resonance)
state. Her work contributes to the development of computational methods for autoionization states
that play a significant role in many processes in physics, chemistry, and biology. In particular, Anael
developed and applied methods to interpret the exciting quantum effects observed in cold molecular
collision experiments. In addition, Anael studied the control of the resonance tunneling process, on
which some electronic devices are based. This work can lead to the design of new electronic devices.
The results of Anael’s research have been published in several papers in leading journals of physical
and theoretical chemistry. For her achievements, Anael received the Schulich Scholarship of
Excellence from the Technion’s Faculty of Chemistry and the Adams Fellowship of the Israel Academy
of Sciences and Humanities.
Alongside her research work, Anael has served as a teaching assistant in several undergraduate and
graduate courses on different topics of physical and quantum chemistry.
In the fall of 2021, Anael will begin her postdoctoral training in the group of Prof. Johannes Feist at
the Condensed Matter Physics Center (IFIMAC) at the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. Her
planned research concentrates on the emergent field of polaritonic chemistry, i.e., the manipulation
of chemical reactions through strong coupling with confined light modes.