Leonard Susskind

Leonard Susskind ( born 1940 in New York City ) is an American theoretical physicist and co-founder of string theory.


Susskind made ​​1962 a bachelor's degree at the City College of New York, received his doctorate in 1965 with Peter Carruthers at Cornell University, where he also worked as a post-doctoral researcher. Subsequently, he was Assistant Professor (1966 ), associate professor (1968) and from 1970 professor of physics at the Belfer Graduate School of Science, Yeshiva University, 1971/1972 a professor at Tel Aviv University and is since 1979 Professor at Stanford University since 2000 when Felix Bloch Professor of Physics. In addition, since 1999 he is Distinguished Professor at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. Since 2007 he is also a member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo ( Ontario) in Canada.


Susskind 1968 was one of the developers of the light front formalism ( Light Cone frame) in quantum field theory ( QFT ). He was in 1969 one of the pioneers of string theory: with Yoichiro Nambu and Holger Bech Nielsen, he was one of the first ever, the strings as an interpretation of the dual resonance model of Gabriele Veneziano, from the string theory emerged suggesting. From 1974 he was also one of the pioneers of lattice gauge theory, which he applied also to study the confinement mechanism. He was also in 1995 next to Gerardus ' t Hooft (1993), one of the originators of the holographic principle in QFT, first postulated as a method that unitarity ( necessary for the conservation of probability interpretation) of quantum mechanics in the presence of black holes maintain (also known as "Black Get the information paradox " known). Moreover, this principle provides an interpretation of the Bekenstein - Hawking entropy of black holes. According to Susskind and 't Hooft, the description of physics by one into the black hole falling observer and a seated on the edge of the event horizon of the black hole observers are equivalent. The latter sees the " information " of falling into the hole matter at its event horizon surface coded and later as Hawking radiation when annihilated the black hole (which is why the entropy of the hole is proportional to the surface ) cast again without loss of information (as opposed to suspicions of Stephen Hawking ). They postulated that in this equivalence, a new physical principle expresses the " complementarity principle of black holes ", which is to replace the principle of locality of quantum field theories in quantum gravity. Also in 1993, turned Susskind on string theory to explain the entropy of black holes.

He is also one of the inventors of the well-known only in outline M- theory, which generalizes the string theory, and Susskind and colleagues gave the form of a matrix field theory. His most recent work (2003 ) is one of the transfer of the anthropic principle on string theory.

Regardless of the former, then unknown in the west work of Andrei Sakharov, he developed along similar lines, a theory of baryogenesis in the early universe. In 1979, he was with Steven Weinberg also one of the first who proposed the mass production of elementary particles due to dynamic symmetry breaking in technicolor theories.

He received the Pregel Award from the New York Academy of Sciences ( 1975), Loeb Lecturer at Harvard University (1976 ) and was won the Sakurai Prize in theoretical particle physics (1997). In 2008 he received the Pomeranchuk Prize. For his Scientific American article " Black Holes and the Information Paradox", he received the 1998 Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences ( 2000). He is a Distinguished Professor at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study.


  • Black Holes and the Information Paradox. Scientific American, 1997.
  • The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. Little Brown, 2005.
  • James Lindesay: An Introduction to Black Holes, Information and the String Theory Revolution: The Holographic Universe. World Scientific, Singapore, 2005.
  • The Black Hole War: My battle with Stephen Hawking to make the world safe for quantum mechanics. Little Brown 2008 German edition The war around the black hole: How I wrestled with Stephen Hawking to the rescue of quantum mechanics, Suhrkamp Verlag 2010