David Finkelstein, American physicist, Died at 86


David Ritz Finkelstein was born on July 19, 1929, in New York City and died on January 24, 2016, in Atlanta.

He was an emeritus professor of physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mr.Finkelstein earned his Ph.D. in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953.

Following his education, he taught at Stevens Institute of Technology through 1960, while he also held a Ford Foundation Fellowship at the European Centre for Nuclear Research from 1959-1960.

From 1964 to 1976, David was the professor of physics at Yeshiva University.

David started a member of the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1980.

In 1958, Himself and Charles W. Misner detected the gravitational kink, a topological defect in the gravitational metric, whose quantum theory could exhibit spin 1/2.

In essence, Finkelstein determined that whatever falls past the Schwarzschild radius into a black hole cannot escape it; the membrane is one-directional.

All their important works and efforts influenced the decisions of Roger Penrose and John Archibald Wheeler to accept the physical existence of event horizons and black holes.

Most of David’s work was focused toward a quantum theory of space-time structure.

Mr.Finkelstein had early on accepted the determination of John von Neumann that anomalies of quantum mechanical measurement are anomalies of the logic of quantum mechanical systems.

Hence, he formed quantum analogues of set theory, the standard language for classical space-time structures, and suggested that space-time is a quantum set of space-time quanta dubbed “chronons”, a model of quantum computer with spins for quantum bits, as a quantum version of the cellular automaton of von Neumann.

David early quantum space-times proving unphysical, he then later studied chronons with a regularised form of Bose–Einstein statistics owing to Tchavdar D. Palev.

Mr.Finkelstein investigated ball lightning with Julio Rubinstein and James R. Powell.

Their closing results were that ball lightning is most likely a wandering St. Elmo’s fire, a low-temperature soliton in the atmospheric electric current flow.

The professor also put forward an in-depth interpretation of the engraving Melencolia I of Albrecht Dürer.

Mr.David Finkelstein passed away at 86 yrs old.