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Yahal Sofer Rimelt, a graduate of the bachelor's degree track in physics and neuroscience at Bar Ilan University and currently at the Weizmann Institute, specializes in the design of observation systems in astrophysics

Yahal Sofer Rimelt, a graduate of the bachelor's degree track in physics and neuroscience at Bar Ilan University and currently at the Weizmann Institute, specializes in the design of observation systems in astrophysics
Yahal Sofer Rimelt, a graduate of the bachelor's degree track in physics and neuroscience at Bar Ilan University and currently at the Weizmann Institute, specializes in the design of observation systems in astrophysics

Meet Yahel Sofer Rimelt, a scientist and doctoral student at the Weizmann Institute in the field of experimental physics, who specializes in designing observation systems in astrophysics and in her spare time mentors young students. Yael, a graduate of the bachelor's degree program in physics and neuroscience at Bar-Ilan University, was selected for Forbes' 30 list of the 30 most promising young people in Israel under the age of 2024. 

"Ever since I can remember, I have loved nature, and especially space. Questions like - 'What is there at the end of the universe', or 'How does the moon not fall on our heads?' occupied me from a young age", she says, "I served in the army as a teacher-soldier. Towards the end of the track, I had the urge to learn, and even though I never studied physics, I remembered the initial excitement I had for science and chose this track. I really liked to study in the physics department in Bar-Ilan - This is a small and very special department, a place where the lecturers come to the lectures with a genuine desire to educate and teach. It was clear to me that this was what interested me the most. These were three difficult and satisfying years, after which I continued to study for a master's degree at the Weizmann Institute and for a doctorate."

These days, Super Rimelt is part of a research group that designs and builds instruments to make astronomical observations. "When people ask me what I do in life, I like to say that I'm looking for aliens. Well, that's not exactly true. But at least it's much closer than the majority of the population", she says, "we focus on designing devices that are designed to discover new planets outside the solar system, to characterize and study them. I have the privilege of taking part in extraordinary and exciting projects. Among them, the new observatory that we are building these days in Naot Smadr, as well as a project that was built in partnership with the largest universities in the world, the GMT telescope. This is an innovative and largest telescope in the world, which is currently being built in Chile."

At the same time as her studies, Super Rimalt made sure to contribute to society. "Among other things, I taught physics at a pre-military preparatory school for members of the Ethiopian community at Bar-Ilan University," she says, "I taught a group of students from the physics and mathematics division in the train neighborhood in the city of Lod, and I even taught and tutored students preparing for matriculation in chemistry at the municipal high school in Jaffa. These days I tutor outstanding high school students as part of the Davidson Institute and practice a course in designing optical systems at the Feinberg seminary."

Like many in Israel, the last period is particularly complex for Super Rimalt. "My little, beloved and brave cousin, the late Eli Bar Sade, fell on 7.10 in a battle at the Zikim base. The world collapsed on me. I found refuge and meaning, in a meeting around science with students I educate. I believe that this is our role in the fragile historical framework in which we currently live - to educate and influence our environment."

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