Physicists believe they have cracked Stephen Hawking’s black hole information paradox

Physicists believe they have cracked Stephen Hawking’s black hole information paradox

Every particle that exists in the Universe has a certain amount of information inherent to it.

Physicists believe that they have finally cracked Stephen Hawking's famous black hole paradox.

The research, published in Physical Review Letters, explores the relationship between the quantum state of a compact matter source and of its asymptotic graviton field.

Black holes are extremely dense, with gravitational pulls so ferocious not even light escapes. Some, the “supermassive” black holes, are immense, like the one at our Milky Way galaxy’s center 4 million times the sun’s mass. Smaller “stellar-mass” black holes possess the mass of a single star.

Approximately half a century ago, Hawking came to the realisation that black holes must 'shine' in a rather unique way. Their warping of the Universe would change the wave-like nature of surrounding quantum fields such that a form of heat radiation was produced.

Effective field theory allows us to compute a purely quantum gravitational effect which causes the subleading asymptotic behavior of the graviton state to depend on the internal structure of the source. This establishes the existence of ubiquitous quantum hair due to gravitational effects.

Every particle that exists in the Universe has a certain amount of information inherent to it. Some of those properties are static: things like mass, charge, magnetic moment, etc.

But other properties are dependent on the system that it’s a part of, as well as the history of its interactions: things like its quantum entanglement properties, its spin and orbital angular momentum, and whether it’s bound to other quantum particles.

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In the 1960s, physicist John Archibald Wheeler, discussing black holes’ lack of observable features beyond their total mass, spin, and charge, coined the phrase ‘black holes have no hair’ aka the no-hair theorem.

However, the newly discovered ‘quantum hair’ provides a way for information to be preserved as a black hole collapses and, as such, resolves one of modern science’s most famous quandaries, experts say.

''It was generally assumed within the scientific community that resolving this paradox would require a huge paradigm shift in physics, forcing the potential reformulation of either quantum mechanics or general relativity,'' he said.

''A crucial aspect is that black holes are formed by the collapse of compact objects and then, according to the quantum theory, there is no absolute separation between the interior and the exterior of the black hole,'' said Roberto Casadio, Professor of Theoretical Physics from the University of Bologna, explaining the discovery of the ‘quantum hair’.

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