In early 1970’s, Stephen Hawking (building on an earlier work of Jacob Bekenstein) theorized that black holes should behave thermodynamically and in particular should radiate. Having thermodynamic properties implied that they should have microscopic states. However, he could not account for these states. In mid-1990’s, jointly with my colleague Andrew Strominger, we found how to account for the microscopic states of black holes using string theoretic ideas. It was very exciting, because we had to get an exact match with Hawking’s prediction, including factors of 2 and pi, and when we carefully included all factors, it was a perfect match with what Hawking’s work anticipated
- in an interview with "Huffingtonpost".