Prof. Benjamin[Benny] Trakhtenbrot

School of Physics and Astronomy
ביה"ס לפיזיקה ואסטרונומיה סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Benjamin[Benny] Trakhtenbrot
Phone: 03-6406108
Office: Kaplun, 114


Dr. Benjamin Trakhtenbrot's main research interests are related to supermassive black holes, with masses of millions to billions larger than our sun, which reside in the centers of most galaxies in the universe. His recent and present research activities try to understand the growth of such black holes, and how this may be linked to galaxy evolution, over cosmic history -- reaching the first billion years after the Big Bang. One of the main areas of activity, and also one of his key achievements in recent years has been the BASS project (, which he initiated with the goal to establish a highly complete census of powerful accreting supermassive black holes in the low-redshift universe. This is done through an international collaborative effort involving over 50 astronomers to obtain and analyze multi-wavelength data, using some of the most sophisticated ground- and space-based telescopes. Another significant research project involves a comprehensive study of the first generation of supermassive black holes, using the Very Large Telescope, the ALMA sub-mm interferometer (both in Chile), and the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Trakhtenbrot is currently exploring black holes that experience a sudden change in their accretion rate, observed through flares in large time-domain surveys. This research front is foreseen to grow significantly in the near future, in preparation for the large SDSS-V project, in which he is involved (including co-chairing one of the Science Working Groups and serving on the Collaboration Council).


  • B.Sc. in Physics and in Computer Science (Cum Laude), Tel Aviv University, 2006

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Tel Aviv University, 2013

Academic Appointments

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Weizmann Institute of Science, 2012-2013

  • Postdoctoral fellow, Swiss Federal Institute for Technology in Zurich (ETH), 2013-2018

  • Senior Lecturer (c.f. Assistant Professor), Tel Aviv University, 2018-present

Awards and Prizes

  • The School of Physics and Astronomy award for outstanding achievements in public outreach, awarded by the Tel Aviv University, 2010

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