Raphael Bousso

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Raphael Bousso (/ˈbs/) (born 1971 in Haifa, Israel) is an Israeli-German theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He is a professor at the Department of Physics, UC Berkeley, he is known for the Bousso bound on the information content of the universe.[1][2][3] With Joseph Polchinski he proposed the string theory landscape as a solution to the cosmological constant problem.[4][5]


Bousso was born in Haifa, the son of late Israeli scientist Dr. Dino Bousso, he studied physics in Augsburg, Germany, from 1990 until 1993. He earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge University in 1997; his doctoral advisor was Stephen Hawking. Bousso did postdoctoral research at Stanford University until 2000, and at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara until 2002. In 2002/03 he was a fellow at the Harvard University physics department and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Since 2002 he has been a professor in the physics department at UC Berkeley. In 2012, Bousso was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society "for fundamental discoveries in the field of quantum cosmology, including the covariant entropy bound and the string landscape."[6]


Bousso's research is focused on quantum gravity, particularly through the study of quantum information, his 1999 covariant entropy bound [1] (Bousso bound) established a general relation between quantum information and spacetime geometry, i.e., gravity.[7] This conjecture has since been refined and proven in certain limits,[8][9][10][11] his lecture "The World as a Hologram" is featured in LBNL's Summer Lecture Series.[12] Bousso has also worked on the black hole information paradox (firewall problem).[13]

In 2000, Bousso and Joseph Polchinski argued that string theory has many long-lived vacua, including solutions compatible with the observed positive value of the cosmological constant (vacuum energy);[4] this came to be called the "landscape of string theory."[14][5] Bousso further studied cosmological selection effects that affect predictions of the theory, with the ultimate goal of testing the string theory landscape.[15]


  1. ^ a b Bousso, Raphael (13 Aug 1999). "A Covariant Entropy Conjecture". Journal of High Energy Physics. 1999 (7): 004. arXiv:hep-th/9905177. Bibcode:1999JHEP...07..004B. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/1999/07/004.
  2. ^ Bousso, Raphael (9 Aug 1999). "Holography in General Space-times". Journal of High Energy Physics. 1999 (6): 028. arXiv:hep-th/9906022. Bibcode:1999JHEP...06..028B. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/1999/06/028.
  3. ^ Bousso, Raphael (5 Aug 2002). "The holographic principle". Reviews of Modern Physics. 74 (3): 825–874. arXiv:hep-th/0203101. Bibcode:2002RvMP...74..825B. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.74.825.
  4. ^ a b Bousso, Raphael; Polchinski, Joseph (14 Jul 2000). "Quantization of four form fluxes and dynamical neutralization of the cosmological constant". Journal of High Energy Physics. 2000 (6): 006. arXiv:hep-th/0004134. Bibcode:2000JHEP...06..006B. doi:10.1088/1126-6708/2000/06/006.
  5. ^ a b Bousso, Raphael; Polchinski, Joseph (2004). "The string theory landscape". Scientific American. 291 (291): 78–87. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0904-78.
  6. ^ "APS Fellowship 2012".
  7. ^ "The Holographic Principle". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  8. ^ "Proof of a Quantum Bousso Bound".
  9. ^ "Proof of the Quantum Null Energy Condition".
  10. ^ "A General Proof of the Quantum Null Energy Condition".
  11. ^ "Black Holes, Quantum Information, and Unification". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  12. ^ Bousso's lecture at LBNL
  13. ^ "A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox". Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  14. ^ L. Susskind, "The anthropic landscape of string theory", arXiv:hep-th/0302219.
  15. ^ "A geometric solution to the coincidence problem, and the size of the landscape as the origin of hierarchy".

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