Henry Maxfield

Henry Maxfield

University of California, Santa Barbara

2021 New Horizons in Physics Prize

For calculating the quantum information content of a black hole and its radiation.


This prize is a chance to reflect on and appreciate all the fortune that has given me the freedom to pursue my curiosity. First, I am fortunate and grateful for the support and encouragement of my parents. I am fortunate to have benefited from the guidance and advice of mentors such as Tadashi Tokieda, Veronika Hubeny, Alex Maloney and Don Marolf. And, particularly now when it is easy to feel isolated, I am fortunate to count myself part of an open, curious and collaborative community of colleagues and friends from across the world. The discoveries that led to this prize are the result of the work of many people over many years: not least of Ahmed Almheiri, Netta Engelhardt and Geoff Penington who share this prize, but also of dozens more. Progress is made not by giant leaps, but by small steps. I am fortunate to have contributed to one small step that revealed a new landscape to explore.