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Remembering Alum Jacob Bekenstein


It is with deep sadness that we report the August 16th death of Jacob Bekenstein (’69) in Helsinki, Finland, where he was lecturing.

Bekenstein, the winner of the 2012 Wolf Prize and the American Physical Society’s 2015 Einstein prize, was best known for his part in the discovery of what is now called Bekenstein-Hawking radiation, an accomplishment characterized by the New York Times as “a landmark in the quest, so far unfinished, to fulfill the Einsteinian dream of a unified theory of both the gravity that bends the cosmos and the quantum chaos that lives inside of it, so-called quantum gravity.” At the time of his death, Bekenstein--who had been born in Mexico City in 1947 to Jewish immigrants from Poland--was a professor emeritus of theoretical physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Our sincere condolences go to his wife, Bilha; his children, Yehonadav, Uriya and Rivka, all of whom are scientists; his sister, Bella; and his grandchildren.