Sabine Hossenfelder is a German researcher, specializing in theoretical physics and quantum gravity.
She works as a researcher at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) where she is in charge of a group dedicated to gravity analysis.
Sabine Hossenfelder’s early years and university training
Sabine Hossenfelder was born on September 18, 1976.
In 1997, when she was just 21 years old, she finished her basic university education at the “Johann Wolfgang Goethe University” in Frankfurt.
Between 2000 and 2003, she dedicated herself to obtaining a Master’s and a Doctorate at this University of Frankfurt.
After earning her Master’s in Mathematics, she obtained her Ph.D. in Physics, with a thesis entitled “Black Holes in Large Extra Dimensions”.
Professional activities of Sabine Hossenfelder
Until 2004, Sabine Hossendolfer worked in Darmstadt (Germany) as a researcher. In this city she was doing a post-doctorate at the “Heavy Ions Research Center“.
The “Heavy Ion Research Center” is dedicated to the research and development of technologies, mainly in the area of nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry and biophysics.
This famous Center, founded in 1969, is located in the city of Darmstadt and is owned by the German Federation (90%) and the state of Hesse (10%).
In its 50 years of operation, the “Heavy Ion Research Center” has been dedicated to the construction and operation of particle acceleration facilities and the study of super-accelerated ions.
Since 1969, their laboratories have been tools for discovery of special importance for the development of therapies for the treatment of cancer with ionizing radiation.
In Darmstadt, 6 new chemical elements have been discovered: Bohrio (1982), Meitnerio (1982), Hassio (1984), Darmstadtio (1994), Roentgenio (1994) and Copernicio (1996).
Sabine Hossendolfer in Tucson, USA
In 2004, Dr. Sabine Hossendolfer received a research fellowship at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
At this prestigious university, she was able to expand on the valuable experiences gained in Darmstadt for five years.
Since then, Sabine Hossenfelder’s areas of research have been phenomena caused by quantum gravity, including the study of the locality principle and quantum interactions.
One of her goals is to find experimental evidence for the existence of quantum gravity.
Since 2007, she has been a speaker at an annual conference called “Experimental Search for Quantum Gravity“, dedicated to commenting and disseminating the findings in this area of research.
The University of Frankfurt hired Sabine Hossenfelder
Sabine Hossenfelder was just 35 years old, when in 2009 she was appointed Assistant Professor of Theoretical Physics at the “Institute for Advanced Study” at the University of Frankfurt.
Since 2018, Sabine Hossendolfer is also a researcher at the Institute, and is in charge of a gravity analysis group.
The first book published by Sabine Hossendolfer
Sabine Hossenfelden has acquired special notoriety as a science communicator. Among her achievements, the book published in June 2018 and entitled “Lost in math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray” stands out.
In it, Sabine Hossenfelder explains in an accessible way fundamental concepts of physics and cosmology.
In its review of the book, Nature magazine described the work as “provocative.” Perhaps the qualifier is appropriate.
Sabine Hossenfelder begins the book by stating: “I realize that I no longer understand physics. When I talk to friends and colleagues, I see that I am not the only one feeling confused. So, I am about to come down from the clouds”.
She claims that when physicists think of black holes or predict discoveries at CERN, they think the best theories are beautiful and elegant.
Sabine Hossenfelder claims that belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it conflicts with scientific objectivity.
And that, however, observation has not been able to confirm theories such as supersymmetry or grand unification, developed by physicists who were based on the aesthetic criteria of their mathematical models.
“Lost in mathematics” is the story of many physicists, including the author herself, who are faced with the belief that the laws of nature are beautiful.
Sabine says, isn’t belief something a scientist should never do?
Articles by Sabine Hossenfelder in scientific journals
Sabine Hossenfelder has written more than 70 research articles, the majority devoted to quantum gravity and physics beyond the standard model.
Her research has been supported by the “Foundational Questions Institute“, the “German Research Foundation“, the “Swedish Research Foundation” and the “Franklin Fetzer Fund“.
There are important magazines that publish her articles: “Forbes”, “New Scientist“, “Nature” and “Scientific American“.
Sabine Hossendolfer has an interesting site for scientific dissemination, with her own articles and videos.