Weizmann Institute of Science – Rehovot

Today is Shabbat (Saturday – Sabbath) and everything (EVERYTHING) is closed in Rehovot so I decided to familiarize myself with campus. I’m spending 8 months at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The first thing anyone should know about the Weizmann is that it is pronounced with a German accent: “Veistman.” When I was going through airport security in Tel Aviv the security guard asked me what I was doing in Israel and I replied “Weizmann” (with my American accent I said: “Wise man”). The Israeli security guard glared at me because he thought I was mocking him. I spent 20 minutes at the airport explaining to the security guards that I was not calling them nor myself a “wise man” but was going to the Weizmann. Eventually they let me into the country.

The first thing I noticed while walking around was that there were a ton of stray cats. Caltech had a some cats but the Weizmann has hundreds. And these cats are more than friendly. They crawl right up to you and beg for food loudly (or steal the milk from your cereal when you’re not looking). And some of these cats get angry (first photo). Besides cats, Caltech and the Weizmann are very similar. Both campuses are painstakingly landscaped and sculpted. That being said, I like Caltech better mostly because I think the architecture at Caltech is better. The Weizmann also grows exotic plants such as the sausage tree (2nd, 3rd photos).

The Weizmann has a couple of famous buildings, including the Solar Spire (4th, 5th photos) and a nearby sun dial (6th, 7th photos). But the Koffler Particle Accelerator (9, 10, 13th photos) has become the symbol of the Weizmann and of Rehovot. The particle accelerator was built in the 70s and the joke is that it was obsolete before construction was finished. The accelerator was used in a couple of experiments and was since then discontinued. Now it’s used as an observation deck, a restaurant, and a trustees board room. Jubilee Plaza (11th, 12th photos) was built later and commemorates the institute’s donors and trustees.

~ by jonathanmtsai on October 9, 2010.

One Response to “Weizmann Institute of Science – Rehovot”

  1. Jonathan! You are already over there on the other side of the world? Crazy! I enjoy seeing your photos and the historical information that you provide 🙂 Hope you have a good time over there, take care and be safe!

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