Werner Israel

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Werner Israel
Born (1931-10-04) October 4, 1931 (age 89)
CitizenshipCanada, Germany
Known forNo hair theorem, internal structures of black holes
Scientific career
FieldsGravitational physics
InstitutionsUniversity of Victoria
ThesisBasic topics of the relativistic theory of shock waves (1959)
Doctoral advisorJohn Lighton Synge
Doctoral studentsEric Poisson
InfluencesStephen Hawking

Werner Israel, OC FRSC FRS (born October 4, 1931) is a physicist, author, researcher, and professor at the University of Victoria.

Born in Berlin, Germany and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, he first received his B.Sc. in 1951 and later his M.Sc. in 1954 from the University of Cape Town. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in 1960 from Trinity College, Dublin.

In 1990, together with Eric Poisson, Israel pioneered the study of black hole interiors and, following up a suggestion of Roger Penrose, discovered the phenomenon of mass inflation (which should not be confused with inflationary cosmology).

He is a Fellow in the cosmology programme of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Until his retirement in 1996 he was a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta. In 1996 he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Victoria. Together with Stephen Hawking, he has co-edited two volumes on gravitational physics.



  • Israel, Werner (1998). "The interior structure of black holes". In Robert M. Wald (ed.). Black Holes and Relativistic Stars. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 137–154. ISBN 0-226-87034-0.
  • Israel, W. & Poisson, E. (1990). "Internal structure of black holes". Phys. Rev. D. 41 (6): 1796–1809. Bibcode:1990PhRvD..41.1796P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.41.1796. PMID 10012548.
  • Hawking, S. W.; Israel, W. (1987). Three Hundred Years of Gravitation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-34312-7.
  • Hawking, S. W. & Israel, W. (1979). General Relativity : an Einstein Centenary Survey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22285-0.