Itzik Ben-Itzhak

University distinguished professor of physics

ben-itzhakItzik Ben-Itzhak, university distinguished professor of physics, focuses his research on the interaction of intense ultrashort laser pulses with molecular ions, with the long-term toal of gaining sufficient understanding of these processes so that they may be controlled the quantum mechanical level. He also studies the physics of atomic and molecular collisions.

The work is carried out in K-State's James R. Macdonald Laboratory, of which Ben-Itzhak is also the director. The laboratory is in the department of physics and includes 14 graduate faculty in atomic, molecular and optical physics. The laboratory is supported, in part, by $2.5 million each year from the U.S. Department of Energy. Ben-Itzhak is currently leading a team of K-State researchers as part of a research consortium funded by NSF-EPSCOR at $6 million. This consortium also includes scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Kansas.

Ben-Itzhak has received collaborative funding from the National Science Foundation and the Binational Science Foundation. He has given more than 55 invited talks at conferences and departments across the globe, and he has written more than 150 articles in journals, conference proceedings and books. He currently advises five graduate students and has mentored six graduate students and six postdoctoral fellows in the past. Undergraduate students working with him have been particularly prolific and have been co-authors 68 times on peer-reviewed publications.

Ben-Itzhak received the Weston Visiting Professorship in 2013-2014 and the Rosi and Max Varon Visiting Professorship in 2003, both at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002 and received the Schwenk Teaching Award in 2000. He came to K-State in 1986 as a research associate in the James R. Macdonald Laboratory. He attended the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he earned his doctorate, master's degree and bachelor's degree.

Ben-Itzhak can be reached at 785-532-1636 or