Some welcome his latest report as a fresh way to solve a black-hole conundrum; others are unsure of its merits.
In a paper published in 1976, Hawking pointed out that the outflowing particles — now known as Hawking radiation — would have completely random properties. As a result, once the black hole was gone, the information carried by anything that had previously fallen into the hole would be lost to the Universe. But this result clashes with laws of physics that say that information, like energy, is conserved, creating the paradox. “That paper was responsible for more sleepless nights among theoretical physicists than any paper in history,” Strominger said during his talk.
The mistake, Strominger explained, was to ignore the potential for the empty space to carry information. In their paper, he and Hawking, along with their third co-author Malcolm Perry, also at the University of Cambridge, turn to soft particles. These are low-energy versions of photons, hypothetical particles known as gravitons and other particles. Until recently, these were mainly used to make calculations in particle physics. But the authors note that the vacuum in which a black hole sits need not be devoid of particles — only energy — and therefore that soft particles are present there in a zero-energy state.
It follows, they write, that anything falling into a black hole would leave an imprint on these particles. “If you’re in one vacuum and you breathe on it — or do anything to it — you stir up a lot of soft gravitons,” said Strominger. After this disturbance, the vacuum around the black hole has changed, and the information has been preserved after all. More.
It’s pretty theoretical, including the “black hole hair.”
Hmmm. If it;s a hypothesis too far, … when a person like Stephen Hawking (or Richard Dawkins) achieves the status of “world’s smartest man” , they can say baffling or silly things and get away with it.
Peers just squirm helplessly. Whether in cosmology or evolution, the last thing the peers want is a serious inventory. So it’s better to just put up with this stuff for now.
See also: Stephen Hawking should visit Efland
Stephen Hawking on the revised end of all things
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