Erik Verlinde

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Erik Verlinde
Born 21 January 1962
Nationality Dutch
Fields Theoretical physics
Institutions University of Amsterdam
Alma mater Utrecht University
Doctoral advisor Bernard de Wit
Known for entropic gravity
UvA site

Erik Peter Verlinde (born 21 January 1962) is a Dutch theoretical physicist and string theorist. He is the identical twin brother of physicist Herman Verlinde. The Verlinde formula, which is important in conformal field theory and topological field theory, is named after him. His research deals with string theory, gravity, black holes and cosmology. Currently he works at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam.

At a symposium at the Dutch Spinoza-institute on 8 December 2009 he introduced a theory of entropic gravity. In this theory, gravity exists because of a difference in concentration of information in the empty space between two masses and its surroundings; he also extrapolates this to general relativity and quantum mechanics. He said in an interview with the newspaper de Volkskrant,[1] "On the smallest level Newton's laws don't apply, but they do for apples and planets. You can compare this to pressure of gas. Molecules themselves don't have any pressure, but a barrel of gas has." It appears that Verlinde's approach to explaining gravity leads naturally to the correct observed strength of dark energy.[2] In June 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Spinoza Prize with a 2.5 million euro grant[3] for this work, including his paper.[4]


  1. ^ "De Volkskrant January 27, 2010". Retrieved September 11, 2011. (Dutch)
  2. ^ Koelman, Johannes. "It from bit: how to get rid of dark energy". Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "NWO-Spinoza Laureates 2011". Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  4. ^ E.P. Verlinde. "On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton". JHEP 04, 29 (2011). arXiv:1001.0785. Bibcode:2011JHEP...04..029V. doi:10.1007/JHEP04(2011)029. 

External links[edit]