John Phillip Preskill 1953

born in:
Highland Park, Illinois, United States

John Preskill is a theoretical physicist and current (2022) Richard Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. He is also director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter.

Preskill completed a Bachelors degree in Physics at Princeton in 1975 and went on to receive a Ph.D from Harvard University in 1980 with a dissertation titled 'Unified Gauge Theories Without Elementary Scalar Fields' directed by Steven Weinberg. Weinberg had started out as an elementary particle physicist, but in the 1960s became increasingly interested in the inclusion of general relativity in quantum field theories. Preskill continued this tradition in his early career, using the lack of observable magnetic monopoles to discard the cosmological models of the late 1970s, opening the path to inflation theories. Preskill is professor at Caltech since 1983. In recent decades, he has increasingly specialized in problems of quantum information. This expertise put him on opposing sides of the argument with Stephen Hawking on the so-called information paradox. A famous bet on this matter was formulated in 1997.,One of his counterparts, Stephen Hawking, partially conceded in 2004, while the other, Kip Thorne, remaned unconvinced.