David Ritz Finkelstein
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FINKELSTEIN, David Ritz David Ritz Finkelstein, 86, passed away on Sunday, January 24th at his home. David is survived by his loving wife, Shlomit; and 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 PhD 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 1960's David and his first wife and three children went south to Tugaloo 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 the Or-Hadash synagogue. Sign online guestbook at www.edressler.com. Graveside services, led by Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz and Rabbi Mario Karpuj, will be held 3:30 PM Tuesday, January 26, 2016 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, 770-451-4999.

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Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 25, 2016.
Graveside service
03:30 PM
Arlington Memorial Park
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21 entries
January 19, 2020
David is etched in my memory! Even now I think of him often. One of the best events I recall is when he met my Dad who visited me in Atlanta during the spring of 1982. Later he visited my home in Hyderabad, India when he was visiting Professor B.G. Sidharth at the Birla Institute in Hyderabad. My brother Santosh picked him up at the Birla Institute and took him to our home there. My brothers there remember his visit fondly.
He has always been an inspiration to me.
Sreeram Valluri
January 19, 2020
I can watch David's part of a PBS "NOVA" episode entitled: "It's About Time." That segment of the program with David made me feel as though I had known him for a long, long time. I LIKE that! So, every once in awhile, I put that program on, and enjoy seeing David as he sits near a beach and explains "The Arrow of Time." What a Truly Gentle and Caring person he must have been. Having seen what the Next Life offers, I KNOW David is Alive and Well, there. I Promise David's Family and friends, that he IS Alive and Well. All that stands between David and his Loved Ones is a small amount of Time. And Time Passes, and you will be reunited with David.
Stanley Salony
April 4, 2019
Stanley Salony
April 3, 2019
Dr. David Finkelstein had a profound impact on many people through his kindness, his patience and his love of people. His great passion and gift for physics infected all of us whom he took under his wing, often despite some serious shortcomings. He always had time to coach, and support others. His answer to many of our questions about the foundations of physics were the most thought-provoking, yet simplistic in absolute form! Thank you, David and Shlomit for the love and care you shared with others.
Deborah Leddon
January 25, 2018
January 10, 2018
I had the good fortune of meeting David the first time at the American Inst. of Physics Conference in New York in 1979. He became a lifelong friend and mentor ever since. I joined as a Research Associate at the School of Physics, Georgia Tech, in July 1979 for two years working under his supervision. I was in touch with him for many years. He also visited the Birla Sciences Centre as well as my home in my home town of Hyderabad. I and my family have very fond recollections of this very great scientist and human being ! We will always treasure our association and recollections of David Finkelstein !
Ram Valluri
Sreeram Valluri
August 27, 2016
David Finkelstein was a Cosmologist.
Circa 1980, at an Atlanta social gathering, I was trying to make a historical point with him.

Arguing my case, I began saying:
"In the time of the Greeks ..."

he immediately corrected me:

"We are the Greeks!"
Rafael Pena
July 14, 2016
David had a profound impact on my life. I was an undergrad at Ga Tech in the early 80s and he took my under his wing, in spite of my many shortcomings. He always found time to answer my questions about physics and life, and his answers were always thought provoking and inspiring. Thank you David and Shlomit for the light and love you shared...
David Devine
June 13, 2016
My father went to grad school with him. He took me on a tour of GA Tech back in 1991 and even published a paper of my father's after he died. Very nice man.
Roger Pease
June 1, 2016
Some 30 years ago, I had the great opportunity to meet David and to share some ideas on the foundations of physics with him. Ever since, I have been observing his writings and admiring his steadiness and his creativity. Herbert Gerstberger
March 18, 2016
A great teacher, friend and guide who leaves imprint for life. Love and prayers
Tenzin Ayadong
February 11, 2016
David Finkelstein wearing a brain cap. Photo by David Presti, India, Jan 2006.
A Wonderful Man whom I met by way of teaching science together with him to Tibetan monastics in India more than a decade ago. He was able to cut straight to the most interesting and exciting things in physics and make them interesting and accessible to a group of smart folks who had little in the way of prior science and math background. And he was a kind and gentle soul.

Blessings to him and warm wishes to his family!

David Presti, University of California, Berkeley
David Presti
February 2, 2016
Dr. Finkelstein was one of those rare minds that gave everyone the mental benefit of the doubteven those far beneath his academic station. He had great patience and humility, when considering his accomplishments, would have been forgiven a lack of both.

Though I was his student for only one class, his "Physics of Space and Time", my view of the Universe was changed. He was a great thinker and man.
Rolf Hunt
January 29, 2016
I respectfully express my condolence. As a student, I learned about Dr.Finkelstein's great contribution in the quantum physics which would be a great asset for coming generations.
Juryeong (Jurie) Lee
January 29, 2016
I don't know why I delighted in hearing David speak since I could only get about 5%... it must have been the pleasure of watching his intense intellect pursuing ideas. Tom Ferguson
tom ferguson
January 29, 2016
A very important physicist
Anthony Zee
January 28, 2016
In Memory of David. My ex-Father-In-Law. My condolences to the family.
Andy Vile, L.Ac.
January 25, 2016
Please accept my condolences.
January 25, 2016
May your hearts be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived!
Psalm 147:3
January 25, 2016
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. 2 Corith. 1:3-5
January 25, 2016
Our deepest condolences to Shlomit and Aria and their family. He will be in our hearts and minds eternally. He expanded our universe.
david finkelstein
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