Leonard Mlodinow

  Male      American      Physicist

About Author

Leonard Mlodinow is an American physicist, author and screenwriter.

Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, of parents who were both Holocaust survivors. His father, who spent more than a year in the Buchenwald concentration camp, had been a leader in the Jewish resistance under Nazi rule in his hometown of Częstochowa, Poland then Generalgouvernement (für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete). As a child, Mlodinow was interested in both mathematics and chemistry, and while in high school was tutored in organic chemistry by a professor from the University of Illinois.

As recounted in his book, Feynman's Rainbow, his interest turned to physics during a semester he took off from college to spend on a kibbutz in Israel, during which he had little to do at night besides reading The Feynman Lectures on Physics, which was one of the few English books he found in the kibbutz library.

While a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley, and on the faculty at Caltech, he developed (with Nikos Papanicolaou) a new type of perturbation theory for eigenvalue problems in quantum mechanics. Later, as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany, he did pioneering work (with M. Hillery) on the quantum theory of dielectric media...

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