Jacob Bekenstein

Theoretical Physicist

Place and Date of Birth

Jacob Bekenstein was born in New Mexico City, New Mexico, on May 1, 1947, and is still alive today at 68 years old.

Education

Bekenstein received his undergraduate education in what is now known as the Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn New York. Later on he received his PhD from Princeton University 1972. After that he became a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study through 2009-2010.

Major Contributions to Physics

Bekensteins major contributions are primarily in the foundations of black hole thermodynamics with smaller contributions to other aspects of the connection between information and gravitation.

Brief Summary

In 1972 Bekenstein was the first to suggest that black holes should have a certain, well defined entropy. Entropy is essentially defined as a gradual decline into disorder. So he suggested that black holes could be understood by their disorder. He also formulated the generalized second law of thermodynamics for systems including black holes. This law said that the horizon area of the black hole would not decrease as a function of time. He also demonstrated his own bound (the Bekenstein bound), which basically said there is a certain amount of information can be stored in a specific area with a specific energy. This can be explained with the brain. Based off of Bekensteins bound, given the average size of the brain, there is a finite amount of information that can be stored. It may be a very vast amount, but there is a limit to it.

Citations

Works Cited

"Bekenstein Bound." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, n.d. Web. 6 May 2015.

"Black Hole Thermodynamics." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, n.d. Web. 6 May 2015.

"Jacob Bekenstein." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, n.d. Web. 6 May 2015.