Obituary: Physicist David Finkelstein, 86

Obituary: Physicist David Finkelstein, 86

David Ritz Finkelstein, 86, died Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, at his Atlanta home.

David is survived by his loving wife, Shlomit; his children, Daniel Finkelstein and his wife, Kathy Mitchell, Beth Bosworth and her husband, Dennis Norkse, Eve Finkelstein, and Aria Ritz Finkelstein; his grandchildren, Sarah, Jesse, Michael, Nora and Evan; and his great-granddaughters, Lola and Sofie.

David earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from MIT. After being the chairman of the physics department and the dean of natural sciences and mathematics at Yeshiva University, David came to Atlanta as the chairman of the physics department at Georgia Tech. He served there as a professor of physics until his retirement. For over two decades David was the editor of the International Journal of Theoretical Physics. An internationally respected scientist, David is known for his Eddington-Finkelstein coordinates, foundational to the understanding of black holes. He also contributed to the theory of quantum mechanics and space-time. Some of his discoveries are presented in his book “Quantum Gravity.” After his retirement, David continued to make great progress in his quantum understanding of space-time.

In the 1960s, David and his first wife and three children went south to Tougaloo College to participate in the fight for human rights for all, regardless of race, one of many examples of his commitment to social justice. With his subtle sense of humor, love of nature and people, and joy in sailing, David won the hearts of all who knew him, and he will be sorely missed. David was a member of Congregation Or Hadash.

Sign the online guestbook at Graveside services, led by Rabbi Analia Bortz and Rabbi Mario Karpuj, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta, 770-451-4999.

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