Fri . 20 Jul 2020
TR | RU | UK | KK | BE |

Joseph Polchinski

joseph polchinski, joseph polchinski physicist
Joseph Gerard Polchinski Jr[2] /pəlˈtʃɪnski/; May 16, 1954 – February 2, 2018 was an American theoretical physicist and string theorist[3][4]


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Contributions
    • 21 D-branes
    • 22 Polchinski's paradox
    • 23 2012 paper on black holes
  • 3 Personal life and death
  • 4 Bibliography
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Polchinski was born in White Plains, New York, the elder of two children to Joseph Gerard Polchinski Sr 1929–2002,[5] a financial consultant and manager, and Joan née Thornton, an office worker and homemaker[6]

Polchinski graduated from Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson, Arizona in 1971, obtained his BS degree from Caltech in 1975, and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980 under the supervision of Stanley Mandelstam After postdoctoral positions at SLAC 1980–82 and Harvard 1982–84 he was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin from 1984 to 1992 Since 1992 until March 2017 he was a professor in the Physics Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a permanent member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics there[7]


Polchinski wrote the two-volume textbook String Theory, published in 1998 Among his many contributions to theoretical physics, D-branes are the best known In 2008 he won the Dirac Medal for his work in superstring theory[8] He won the 2017 Fundamental Physics Prize[9]


Polchinski's contributions to D-brane physics were a primary trigger of the 2nd superstring revolution and the physics of holographic gauge-gravity dualities After co-discovering D-branes in 1989, his 1995 work conjectured and partially demonstrated the equivalence between D-branes and black p-branes The duality between these objects was soon understood to be a demonstration of holography, in which a theory of quantum gravity the black p-branes is equivalent to a lower-dimensional theory without gravity the D-branes, as later demonstrated in Maldacena's AdS-CFT duality

Polchinski's paradox

In an unpublished communication to Kip Thorne circa 1990, commenting on the Novikov self-consistency principle in relation to sending objects or people through a traversable wormhole into the past, and the time paradoxes that could result, Polchinski raised a potentially paradoxical situation involving a billiard ball sent through a wormhole which sends it back in time In this scenario, the ball is fired into a wormhole at an angle such that, if it continues along that path, it will exit the wormhole in the past at just the right angle to collide with its earlier self, thereby knocking it off course and preventing it from entering the wormhole in the first place Thorne dubbed this problem "Polchinski's paradox" in 1994[10] Later students of the whimsical problem came up with solutions which managed to avoid any inconsistencies, by having the ball emerge from the future at a different angle than the one used to generate the paradox, and deliver its younger self a glancing blow instead of knocking it completely away from the wormhole, a blow which changes its trajectory in just the right way so that it will travel back in time with the angle required to deliver its younger self this glancing blow[10]

2012 paper on black holes

Main article: Firewall physics

In July 2012, Polchinski, with two of his students, James Sully and Ahmed Almheiri, and fellow string theorist Donald Marolf at the University of California, Santa Barbara UCSB, published a paper[11] whose calculations about black hole radiation suggested that either general relativity's equivalence principle is wrong, or else a key tenet of quantum mechanics is incorrect[12]

Personal life and death

Polchinski had two sons, Steven and Daniel, with his wife, Dorothy Maria Chun, whom he married in 1980[6]

Polchinski died at his home in Santa Barbara, California on February 2, 2018 of brain cancer, at the age of 63[6]


  • Polchinski, Joseph 1998a, String Theory Vol I: An Introduction to the Bosonic String, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-63303-6 
  • Polchinski, Joseph 1998b, String Theory Vol II: Superstring Theory and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-63304-4 
  • Polchinski, Joseph 2017, Memories of a Theoretical Physicist, arXiv:170809093 , Bibcode:2017arXiv170809093P  Autobiographical memoir


  1. ^ Polchinski, J 1995 "Dirichlet branes and Ramond-Ramond charges" Physical Review D, 5010, R6041–R6045
  2. ^ "JOSEPH GERARD POLCHINSKI" Physics History Network 
  3. ^ Yang, Henry T 2 February 2018 "Obituary: Professor Emeritus Joseph Polchinski" UC Santa Barbara 
  4. ^ "Joe Polchinski 1954-2018: La teoría de cuerdas está de luto" La Ciencia de la Mula Francis in Spanish Retrieved 2018-02-03 
  5. ^ "Joseph Gerard Polchinski, Sr" Genicom 
  6. ^ a b c Overbye, Dennis 7 February 2018 "Joseph Polchinski, 63, Leading Theorist on Multiple Universes, Dies" The New York Times 
  7. ^ kitpucsbedu Archived 2007-04-17 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Dirac Medallists 2008
  9. ^ Leachman, Shelly December 5, 2016 "Another Major Breakthrough" University of California, Santa Barbara Retrieved December 5, 2016 
  10. ^ a b Thorne, Kip S 1994 Black Holes and Time Warps W W Norton pp 510–513 ISBN 0-393-31276-3 
  11. ^ Almheiri, Ahmed; Marolf, Donald; Polchinski, Joseph; Sully, James 11 February 2013 "Black holes: complementarity or firewalls" Journal of High Energy Physics 2013 2 arXiv:12073123  Bibcode:2013JHEP02062A doi:101007/JHEP022013062 
  12. ^ "Astrophysics: Fire in the hole!"

External links

  • Personal website
  • "Joe Polchinski: 2017 Breakthrough Symposium" YouTube 21 February 2017 

joseph polchinski, joseph polchinski company, joseph polchinski death, joseph polchinski dies, joseph polchinski memoirs, joseph polchinski obit, joseph polchinski obituary, joseph polchinski physicist, joseph polchinski string theory, joseph polchinski string theory pdf

Joseph Polchinski Information about

Joseph Polchinski

  • user icon

    Joseph Polchinski beatiful post thanks!


Joseph Polchinski
Joseph Polchinski
Joseph Polchinski viewing the topic.
Joseph Polchinski what, Joseph Polchinski who, Joseph Polchinski explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts

Amorphous metal

Amorphous metal

An amorphous metal also known as metallic glass or glassy metal is a solid metallic material, usuall...
Arthur Lake (bishop)

Arthur Lake (bishop)

Arthur Lake September 1569 – 4 May 1626 was Bishop of Bath and Wells and a translator of the King Ja...
John Hawkins (author)

John Hawkins (author)

Sir John Hawkins 29 March 1719 – 21 May 1789 was an English author and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson a...
McDonnell Douglas MD-12

McDonnell Douglas MD-12

The McDonnell Douglas MD-12 was an aircraft design study undertaken by the McDonnell Douglas company...