In our Proud to Publish series we talk to our editors about the books they were most proud to publish, commission or work on in the past year. Read our interview below with Lisa Scalone, Associate Editor (Books), Science, in which she tells us about the book she is most proud to have published in 2020 and what makes this book stand out.
I’m proud to publish Three Lectures on Complexity and Black Holes by Prof. Leonard Susskind. Since its publication, happened in May 2020 during the first lockdown in Europe, it sold more than 160 printed copies which is a sort of record for a Brief in theoretical physics, given the advanced and niche topic. More than 550 books have been downloaded so far from our SpringerLink platform and it has also been cited few times.
The success of this book project comes together with its author, Leonard Susskind, who was awarded the J. J. Sakurai Prize and the Oskar Klein Medal. I am proud for having been courage enough to invite him to publish his notes, regardless his outstanding personality, and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with him.
Why is this your personal 2020 highlight?
Well, among many different projects it is not always easy to decide, but this book deserves a special mention. As said, it is strictly related to the scientific legacy of his author, one of the fathers of string theory and one of the best living theoretical physicists of our time. The book presents a pedagogical treatise about thermodynamics and entropy, well established concepts in physics, and black holes and their inner complexity. It can be read as an introduction to the mysteries of black holes’ physics and how we can interpret, understand, and model their complex behavior. The reading is clear, compact, and enlightening, what we seek for the series SpringerBriefs in Physics, meant primarily for advanced students hungry for new food for thought.
What makes this book stand out in its field?
Black holes thermodynamics is one of the most fascinating topic in theoretical physics now-a-days. Quantum mechanics is rooted in the interpretation of black hole radiation through statistical mechanics and such studies have paved the way for quantum gravity and, consequently, for the formulation of the holographic principle. Leonard Susskind was the first to give a clear string-theoretic explanation of the holographic principle several decades ago. Therefore, who - better than him - can take you on a journey around black holes to discover and reveal what we currently know about these giants, which populate our universe, and their complexity? In this book, the reader finds a gentle introduction to this subject and what she needs to understand to craft future research in the field, also raising new questions.
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About the authors
Susskind is widely regarded as one of the fathers of string theory. He was the first to give a precise string-theoretic interpretation of the holographic principle in 1995 and the first to introduce the idea of the string theory landscape in 2003.
Susskind was awarded the 1998 J. J. Sakurai Prize, and the 2018 Oskar Klein Medal.