Werner Israel

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science

Physicist and cosmologist: Wrote the first logically precise theory for the simplicity of black holes (1967)

"If you really enjoy your work you never need a holiday."

October 4, 1931

Berlin, Germany, but grew up in Cape Town, South Africa

Victoria, BC but spent most of his working life in Edmonton, Alberta

Family Members
  • Father: Arthur Israel
  • Mother: Marie Kappauf
  • Spouse: Inge Margulies
  • Children: Mark and Pia; also one grandchild, Allison

Self deprecating, enthusiastic, obsessive, and absent minded. Has a wry sense of humour.

Favorite Music
Arthur Schnabel’s recordings of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas

Other Interests
Has a huge recorded music collection, collects second hand books, enjoys swimming, jogging and hiking

Professor Emeritus (Physics)

Department of Physics, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC


  • BSc (Physics and Mathematics, 1951) University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • MSc (Mathematics, 1954) University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • PhD (Mathematics, 1960) Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1972
  • Canadian Association of Physicists Medal of Achievement in Physics, 1981
  • University of Alberta Research Prize in Science and Engineering, 1983
  • Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Prize, 1984
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (London, England),1986
  • Officer of the Order of Canada, 1994
  • Medal in Mathematical Physics, Canadian Association of Physicists, 1995


John Lighton Synge, the great Irish mathematician in Dublin who taught him a style of reasoning and how to draw pictures to understand relativity theory

Last Updated
June 25, 2011


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