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FQXi BLOGS
February 24, 2018

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Jacob Bekenstein (1947-2015) [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Aug. 17, 2015 @ 20:27 GMT
In remembrance of Jacob Bekenstein, a guest post by his friend and colleague Eduardo Guendelman, Physics Department, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel.

It is with great sorrow that we report on the passing of Professor Jacob D. Bekenstein from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Jacob was born in Mexico City in 1947 and obtained his undergraduate and M Sc degrees in 1969 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. His Ph.D work obtained from Princeton University in 1972 under the guidance of John A. Wheeler contained his breakthrough discovery of black hole entropy which started the subject of black hole thermodynamics.

Bekenstein's findings were supported by the discovery of black hole radiation by Hawking, who had initially opposed his ideas. Bekenstein was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, and then faculty member (1974-1990) at the Ben Gurion University in Israel where he became full professor in 1978 and then Arnow Professor of Astrophysics in 1983. I had the fortune to be his post doctoral fellow at Ben Gurion University (1985-1988) at the time when he was developing his famous Entropy Bounds, We worked on this subject and this was a great opportunity to get to know not only a great scientist but also an outstanding human being.

Since 1990 he has been at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (since 1993 as Polak Professor of Theoretical Physics). Other scientific interests Jacob had have been relativistic magnetohydrodynamics, galactic dynamics, physical aspects of information theory, development of consistent theories with a time dependent fine structure constant, the development of alternatives to dark matter by modifying gravity and more recently also designing realistic experiments to explore quantum gravity. .

Bekenstein was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (since 1997) and of The World Jewish Academy of Sciences, and has been honored with the Landau Prize (1981), the Rothschild Prize (1988), the Israel National Prize (2005), the Weizmann Prize (2011), the Wolf Prize 2012 and most recently the Einstein Prize of the American Physical Society for 2015.

He will be greatly missed as a great scientist and as a great man. He is survived by his wife Bilha and their three children.

Eduardo Guendelman

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Aug. 18, 2015 @ 16:12 GMT
So sorry to hear. His contributions to relativity and beyond were incalculable. Jacob Bekenstein, olav ha shalom.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Aug. 25, 2015 @ 15:31 GMT
peace to his soul, he continues a way inside the universal sphere...my mother and my father also.the death does not exist dear friends.

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James S Dial replied on Jul. 30, 2017 @ 21:28 GMT
Cool web-site you've gotten here.

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this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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David Brown wrote on Aug. 27, 2015 @ 12:14 GMT
Bekenstein was one of the first to recognize the value of Milgrom's work. "Can TeVeS be a viable theory of gravity?" by M. Chaichian, et al., 2014 Google "witten milgrom".

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