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Theoretical physicist on why she stopped working on black hole information loss

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The Sabine Hossenfelder found that “no one can tell which solution is correct in the sense that it actually describes nature, and physicists will not agree on one anyway.”

Not because it’s unsolvable. But because you can’t solve this problem with mathematics alone, and experiments are not possible, not now and probably not in the next 10000 years.

Why am I telling you this? I am not talking about this because I want to change the mind of my colleagues in physics. They have grown up thinking this is an important research question and I don’t think they’ll change their mind. But I want you to know that you can safely ignore headlines about black hole information loss. You’re not missing anything if you don’t read those articles. Because no one can tell which solution is correct in the sense that it actually describes nature, and physicists will not agree on one anyway. Because if they did, they’d have to stop writing papers about it.

Sabine Hossenfelder, “I stopped working on black hole information loss. Here’s why.” at BackRe(Action) (April 23, 2022)

6 Replies to “Theoretical physicist on why she stopped working on black hole information loss

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    So, basically, just another of those IDK questions where the only honest answer is “I don’t know. And neither does anyone else.”

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    In my opinion, there should be more admissions of “I don’t know” in science coupled with “here’s what we think we know” and “here’s a better statement of the problem.”

    For one thing, Hawking Radiation is so incredibly tiny–one of a pair of quantum fluctuations crosses the event horizon while the other one doesn’t (although it seems the lucky one would be very quickly pulled in by gravity) and then we’re also ignoring any possible quantum tunneling across the event horizon, which is also possible.

    Dr. Hossenfelder’s observation that we need more experimental evidence to at least eliminate some of the many possibilities is a good one.

    -Q

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    There should be a greater willingness all round to simply admit we don’t actually know but this is our best understanding at this time but that could change as new data comes to light.

  4. 4
    Belfast says:

    Seversky:- Prince of the irrelevant Trite-O-Gram.

  5. 5
    Fred Hickson says:

    SeverskyApril 25, 2022 at 1:29 pm
    There should be a greater willingness all round to simply admit we don’t actually know but this is our best understanding at this time but that could change as new data comes to light.

    Like civilization, I think that would be a very good idea.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    There should be a greater willingness all round to simply admit we don’t actually know but this is our best understanding at this time but that could change as new data comes to light

    That is consistent with ID.

    But this is often used with the begging the question fallacy to eliminate explanations as opposed to coming to the truth. In other words, I don’t like the likely explanation for the findings so I will use the “I don’t know” answer to not consider it.

    It’s just another way of exhibiting hypocrisy. If only biologists would say in their textbooks that they just don’t know, it would be a major step forward. But somehow I doubt the anti ID commenters would defend this. To be anti ID one has to be a hypocrite.

    As I said – Hypocrisy!!!

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