Skip to content
Fellows Directory

Jacob Israelachvili

Professor Jacob Israelachvili FRS


Elected: 1988


Jacob Israelachvili has made key contributions to experimental surface science and to theoretical membrane biology. Work with his unique apparatus, which measures forces between surfaces immersed in liquids with distance resolution of 1 angstrom, has not simply confirmed modern theories, but has revealed a hierarchy of new forces due to liquid structure at interfaces at distances below 50-angstrom separation. These forces are essential to an understanding of a wide variety of phenomena in industry and nature. Jacob also pioneered the theory of self-assembly of surfactant liquid and protein molecules into structures such as micelles, vesicles and membranes.