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Sabine Hossenfelder
cosmology superfluid fundamental physics

1. Introduction

Sabine Hossenfelder (born 18 September 1976) is a German author and theoretical physicist who researches quantum gravity. She is a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies where she leads the Superfluid Dark Matter group. She is the author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, which explores the concept of elegance in fundamental physics and cosmology.

2. Education

Hossenfelder completed her undergraduate degree in 1997 at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main.[1] She remained there for a Master's degree, and she wrote a thesis under the supervision of Walter Greiner titled "Particle Production in Time Dependent Gravitational Fields", which she completed in 2000.[2] Hossenfelder received her doctorate from the same institution in 2003, for the thesis "Black Holes in Large Extra Dimensions" under the supervision of Horst Stöcker.[3][4]

3. Research

Hossenfelder remained in Germany until 2004 as a postdoctoral researcher at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany.[1] She moved to North America and completed research fellowships at the University of Arizona, Tucson, University of California, Santa Barbara and Perimeter Institute, Canada.[5][6][7] She joined Nordita Institute for Theoretical Physics, Sweden, in 2009 as an Assistant Professor.[8][9] In 2018 she was a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies.[10]

Hossenfelder's research interest is in the phenomenology of quantum gravity.[8] She focuses on the role of Lorentz invariance and locality, which would be altered in the discovery of quantum gravity.[8] Hossenfelder is trying to find experimental evidence of quantum gravity.[11][12][13][14] Since 2007 she has been involved with the annual conference series "Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity".[15] Hossenfelder has created a number of YouTube videos exploring the topic.[16][17][18] She has been employed by the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies since 2015, where she leads the Analog Systems for Gravity Duals group.[19] Another area of her research are foundations of quantum mechanics, where she has argued against free will and in favor of superdeterminism.[20][21]

Hossenfelder has also been researching since at least 2008 on how technology is changing researchers' ability to publicize, discuss, or publish their research, when she co-organized the Science in the 21st Century workshop.[22] She is an advocate of Superdeterminism.[23][24]

4. Public Engagement and Scientific Achievements

Hossenfelder is a freelance popular science writer who has kept a blog since 2006.[25] She contributes to the Forbes column "Starts with a Bang"[26] as well as Quanta Magazine,[27] New Scientist,[28] Nature Physics,[29] Scientific American,[30] Nautilus Quarterly[31] and Physics Today.[32] To show some gaps in the argument of Verlinde's claim that gravity is an entropic force, she derived[33] Verlinde's formula for Newton's law of universal gravitation using a new form of an entropic variation formula that reduces to Bekenstein-Hawking entropy at the black hole event horizon. In 2016, Hossenfelder offered to act as a physics consultant on her blog—US$50 for twenty minutes of discussion—and had to recruit five extra physicists to deal with the demand.[34][35] In 2017 she created cards featuring pioneering quantum physicists.[36] Live Science and The Guardian quoted Hossenfelder as an authority when trying to evaluate the importance of Stephen Hawking's last scientific publication.[37][38]

Basic Books are the publishers of Hossenfelder's first book, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, released in June 2018.[39][40][41] A review in Nature described it as "provocative",[42] and Frank Wilczek recommended it as an "intensely personal and intellectually hard-edged" book, even though he disagreed with it "on many points".[43] Peter Woit summarized the book's theme as follows:

At various points Hossenfelder makes it clear that her worry is that physicists are getting stuck due to outdated notions of "beauty", while at the same time she still believes that successful new ideas will come with their own new form of "beauty".[44]

Hossenfelder also is invited for talks, about "What is wrong with physics" for example.[45]

Her 2018 book, Lost in Math, was also published in German with the title, Das hässliche Universum (The Ugly Universe). Hossenfelder posits that the universe (and its particle model) is messy, and that it cannot be described by a mathematical (beautiful) Great Unified Theory.[46]

She currently has an eponymously-named YouTube channel (subtitled 'Science without the gobbledygook').

5. Bibliography

  • Sabine Hossenfelder, Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, Basic Books, June 2018.
  • Sabine Hossenfelder and Stacy S. McGaugh, "Is Dark Matter Real? Astrophysicists have piled up observations that are difficult to explain with dark matter. It is time to consider that there may be more to gravity than Einstein taught us", Scientific American, vol. 319, no. 2 (August 2018), pp. 36–43.
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. "Bio". 
  2. Hossenfelder, Sabine; Schwarz, Dominik J.; Greiner, Walter (2003). "Particle production in time-dependent gravitational fields: the expanding mass shell" (in en). Classical and Quantum Gravity 20 (11): 2337–2354. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/20/11/325. ISSN 0264-9381. Bibcode: 2003CQGra..20.2337H.
  3. Hossenfelder, Sabine; Bleicher, Marcus; Hofmann, Stefan; Stöcker, Horst; Kotwal, Ashutosh V. (2003). "Black hole relics in large extra dimensions". Physics Letters B 566 (3–4): 233–239. doi:10.1016/s0370-2693(03)00835-9. Bibcode: 2003PhLB..566..233H.
  4. DeBakcsy, Dale (26 September 2018). "Sabine Hossenfelder and the Trials of 21st Century Physics". 
  5. "The Multiverse at Perimeter | Not Even Wrong" (in en-US). 
  6. Horgan, John. "Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder Fears Theorists, Lacking Data, May Succumb to "Wishful Thinking"" (in en). Scientific American Blog Network. 
  7. Hossenfelder, S. (2008). "Bimetric theory with exchange symmetry". Physical Review D 78 (4): 044015. doi:10.1103/physrevd.78.044015. Bibcode: 2008PhRvD..78d4015H.
  8. Mühlen, Hans. "Sabine Hossenfelder – NORDITA" (in en). 
  9. Are we there yet? : the search for a theory of everything. Emam, Moataz H.. [Saif Zone, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates]: Bentham Science Publishers. 2011. ISBN 9781608052141. OCLC 759158465.
  10. "Sabine Hossenfelder |". 
  11. "Talks". 
  12. Hossenfelder, Sabine (10 October 2015). "News from Quantum Gravity Phenomenology". 
  13. Hossenfelder, Sabine (17 October 2010). "Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity". Classical and Quantum Gravity: Theory, Analysis and Applications. 5. Nova Publishers. Bibcode: 2010arXiv1010.3420H.
  14. Hossenfelder, Sabine; Marletto, Chiara; Vedral, Vlatko (6 September 2017). "Quantum gravity: Quantum effects in the gravitational field" (in En). Nature 549 (7670): 31. doi:10.1038/549031a. PMID 28880282. Bibcode: 2017Natur.549...31H.
  15. "Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity (19–30 September 2016)". 
  16. Sabine Hossenfelder (11 October 2017), What could we learn from quantum gravity?,, retrieved 27 January 2018 
  17. Selen Atalay (27 August 2016), Sabine Hossenfelder talks about Quantum Gravity Phenomonology in 3 mins,, retrieved 27 January 2018 
  18. Sabine Hossenfelder (30 July 2012), My research area: The Phenomenology of Quantum Gravity,, retrieved 27 January 2018 
  19. "Analog Systems for Gravity Duals / FIAS" (in en). 
  20. Hossenfelder, Sabine; Palmer, Tim (6 May 2020). "Rethinking Superdeterminism". Frontiers in Physics 8. doi:10.3389/fphy.2020.00139.
  21. "The Forgotten Solution: Superdeterminism". 28 July 2019. 
  22. "Science in the 21st Century | Perimeter Institute". 
  23. Brooks, Michael. "Is everything predetermined? Why physicists are reviving a taboo idea" (in en-US). 
  24. Hossenfelder, Sabine; Palmer, Tim (2020). "Rethinking Superdeterminism" (in English). Frontiers in Physics 8. doi:10.3389/fphy.2020.00139. ISSN 2296-424X. 
  25. "About". 
  26. Hossenfelder, Sabine. "Why Trust A Theory? Physicists And Philosophers Debate The Scientific Method" (in en). Forbes. Retrieved 27 January 2018. 
  27. "Sabine Hossenfelder | Quanta Magazine". 
  28. "Strangely familiar: Is dark matter normal stuff in disguise?" (in en-US). New Scientist. 
  29. Hossenfelder, Sabine (5 April 2017). "Science needs reason to be trusted" (in En). Nature Physics 13 (4): 316–317. doi:10.1038/nphys4079. Bibcode: 2017NatPh..13..316H.
  30. Hossenfelder, Sabine (2015). "Head Trip" (in en). Scientific American 313 (3): 46–49. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0915-46. PMID 26455101. Bibcode: 2015SciAm.313c..46H.
  31. Hossenfelder, Sabine (2 February 2017). "What Quantum Gravity Needs Is More Experiments". Nautilus. Retrieved 27 January 2018. 
  32. Hossenfelder, Sabine (1 December 2013). "The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality". Physics Today 66 (12): 50. doi:10.1063/PT.3.2217. ISSN 0031-9228. 
  33. Hossenfelder, Sabine (4 March 2010). Comments on and Comments on Comments on Verlinde's paper 'On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton'. 
  34. "Q&A with Sabine Hossenfelder: Consultant for Armchair Physicists" (in en). 
  35. "What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists – Sabine Hossenfelder | Aeon Ideas" (in en). Aeon. 
  36. "The Quantum Quartet" (in en-GB). 
  37. "Stephen Hawking's Last Paper (Probably) Doesn't Prove We Live in a Multiverse". Live Science. 
  38. Sample, Ian (14 March 2018). "A life in science: Stephen Hawking" (in en). 
  39. Hossenfelder, Sabine (2018). Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465094264. 
  40. "Review of Lost in Math". April 2018. 
  41. "Review of Lost in Math". 30 April 2018. 
  42. "Interactions: Conversation with Sabine Hossenfelder : On your wavelength" (in en-US). 
  43. Wilczek, Frank (1 September 2018). "Has elegance betrayed physics?". Physics Today 71 (9): 57. doi:10.1063/PT.3.4022.
  44. Woit, Peter (11 June 2018). "Lost in Math". MAA Reviews (Mathematical Association of America). Retrieved 22 December 2019. 
  45. Was läuft falsch in der gegenwärtigen Physik? , University of Stuttgart, 14 May 2019.
  46. Sabine Hossenfelder: Das hässsliche Universum. Frankfurt 2018. p. 67 pp. (in German)
Name: Sabine Hossenfelder
Born: Sep 1976
Frankfurt am Main
Title: Theoretical physicist
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown
Subjects: Others
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Update Date: 15 Nov 2022