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Black Holes: The Information Paradox. Andrew Buccilli PH2010 Sophomore Seminar. October 26, 2007. What is a Black Hole?. Region of extremely dense packed matter Gravity so strong that nothing can escape it Gravitation balances EM radiation. Sizes. 1. Supermassive Black Holes

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black holes the information paradox

Black Holes:The Information Paradox

Andrew Buccilli

PH2010 Sophomore Seminar

October 26, 2007

what is a black hole
What is a Black Hole?
  • Region of extremely dense packed matter
  • Gravity so strong that nothing can escape it
  • Gravitation balances EM radiation

1. Supermassive Black Holes

  • millions to billions of times the mass of our sun
  • believed that most galaxies contain one at their galactic center
  • the slow acceleration of matter is one way of formation
2. Intermediate-Mass Black Hole
  • mass is significantly more than SBH yet far less than SMBH
  • less evidence for existence
    • not clear how they form
      • too massive
      • lack extreme environment


3. Stellar Black Hole

  • at least 1.5 solar masses
  • largest is 17.5 solar masses
  • formed by gravitational

collapse of massive star

4. Quantum Mechanical Black Hole
    • BH could exists at any mass in theory
      • lower mass, higher density of matter
    • Smallest mass is the plank mass
      • ~2 × 10^−8 kg
      • less mass: inconsistent and incomplete
    • BH mass < few times solar mass
      • no know processes to produce
    • Brian Greene (PhD. at Oxford University)
      • electron might be a micro black hole
        • mass, charge, spin
  • Note:Primordial black hole
    • extreme density of matter
black holes have no hair
Black Holes Have No Hair
  • Complicated formation- Simple stationary state
  • Can be characterized by:
    • Mass
    • Angular momentum
    • Electric charge
  • Same properties
    • Unknown how formed
      • i.e. matter or antimatter
event horizon
Event horizon
  • Boundary of the region of escape
    • WARNING: “point of no return”
  • Not a solid surface
    • does not obstruct or slow down matter


  • Point where mass is entirely compressed
    • zero Volume
    • infinite gravitational pull and density
  • General relativity breaks down
vacation through a black hole
Vacation Through a Black Hole
  • Traveling through [T] - Outside observer [O]
    • [T] approaches “c” approaching BH
    • [T] experiences nothing abnormal through horizon
    • [O] sees [T] acting in a bizarre way
  • Spaghettification
    • Newton’s law of gravitation explains principles
  • [T] appears to slow down
  • [T] is spaghettified
  • [O] never sees anything inside the horizon
    • [T] appears flattened and frozen at horizon
  • [T] sees nothing unusual until reaching the singularity
    • All components of [T] are torn before striking
    • At the singularity- ?????????
hawking radiation
Hawking Radiation
  • Black holes slowly radiate away energy
    • Increases as mass decreases
  • Not actually black
  • Particle- antiparticle pair
    • both pulled in
    • both escape
    • one pulled in one escapes
  • BH lost minute amount of mass
    • radiation comes from the horizon
The Beautiful Equation
    • Thermodynamics
    • Gravity
    • Quantum Physics
    • Relativity
  • Eventually a BH will radiate away all of its mass
    • Only thermal energy would remain
  • There is trouble on the horizon…
the information paradox
The Information Paradox
  • Physics doesn’t work?!
  • Conservation of energy
    • Reversibility
      • Information cannot be destroyed
black hole complementarity
Black Hole Complementarity
  • Opposing point
    • Info. never reached the horizon
      • Vaporized and radiated
  • Vacation revisited
    • Person falling in would

be dead and alive?

  • Both points are true
  • String Theory
    • Agrees with both observers
our memories are safe
Our Memories Are Safe?
  • Parallel universes
  • Quantum gravity