Physicist explains why quantum mechanics says a black hole should be able to let some things out

Aug 03, 2012 by Bob Yirka report
Color composite image of Centaurus A, revealing the lobes and jets emanating from the active galaxy’s central black hole. Composite images: ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)

(Phys.org) -- The journal Science is running a series of Reviews and Perspectives on the current state of knowledge and theories regarding black holes, written by leaders in the field. Some discuss what is believed to happen if two black holes collide, others describe what happens as binary stars are sucked up by black holes and whether intermediate size black holes really exist as new evidence is indicating. Yet another by doctoral fellow Rubens Reis, discusses a lucky break that allowed scientists to listen to the “cry” of the last bits of some matter just before being consumed by another black hole. But generating the most interest perhaps, is an article by Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a theoretical physicist, who argues that one of the most basic beliefs about black holes, namely, that nothing can ever escape it’s gravitational pull, is wrong, but only sort of.

It was Einstein’s theory of relativity that got everyone believing that because the gravity of a black hole is so great, it’s not possible for anything to escape once it passes the event horizon, or point of no return. Witten says that while the theory is right, of course, it’s only right in a certain respect, because it violates the laws of thermodynamics, which say that if a reaction is possible then there is always supposed to be an opposite reaction. Applied to , it suggests that if something can be consumed, then it ought to be able to be un-consumed as well. This whole idea is backed up by something Stephen Hawking came up with back in 1974, where he suggested that certain quantum particles should be able to escape a black hole, but that they would be too small for anyone to detect. He called the process Hawking radiation, and sure enough, no one has ever been able to detect them.

Witten says that despite the seeming contradiction in the two views, there is a way to explain the differences; it’s about perception and point of view or looking at things in a macroscopic versus microscopic way and using the idea of entropy. Seen up close and personal, a black hole surely is capable of the occasional lapse, allowing a particle or even a whole atom to escape. But looking at the hugeness of a black hole across the vast distance of space, it definitely appears all consuming; always taking and never giving, to us appearing as if nothing, not even a photon could ever escape it’s clutches. That’s how you reconcile the two viewpoints.

Explore further: 'Blockbuster' science images

More information: Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes, Science, 3 August 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6094 pp. 538-540. DOI: 10.1126/science.1221693

ABSTRACT
The popular conception of black holes reflects the behavior of the massive black holes found by astronomers and described by classical general relativity. These objects swallow up whatever comes near and emit nothing. Physicists who have tried to understand the behavior of black holes from a quantum mechanical point of view, however, have arrived at quite a different picture. The difference is analogous to the difference between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. The thermodynamic description is a good approximation for a macroscopic system, but statistical mechanics describes what one will see if one looks more closely.

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antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (9) Aug 03, 2012
Seen up close and personal, a black hole surely is capable of the occasional lapse, allowing a particle or even a whole atom to escape. But looking at the hugeness of a black hole across the vast distance of space, it definitely appears all consuming; always taking and never giving, to us appearing as if nothing, not even a photon could ever escape its clutches. Thats how you reconcile the two viewpoints.

Erm. Yes? This reconciles these two viewpoints exactly, how?

That we haven't measured Hawking radiation isn't because it isn't there over large spaces. It's just so incredibly low intensity stuff that we have no hope of detecting it here.

A black hole with one solar mass emits about a tenth of billionth of a billionth of a billionth Watts (and for larger black holes it is even less because it's proportional to 1 over the mass of the black hole squared).
And of THAT we'd only see that miniscule part heading directly for Earth.
julianpenrod
1.4 / 5 (23) Aug 03, 2012
Bascially, a demonstration of the utter incompetence of the branch of "science" that involves conditions they expect the "rank and file" will never experience. It's one thing to say gasoline won't explode when you put a match to it, but they don't expect the "rubes" ever to get near light speed or particle physics ranges to see that relativity and quantum mechanics are lies. Consider the insistence that the "principle" of reversibility in thermodynamics must be maintained. Among other things, not all processes even in conventional systems need be reversible. Gas escaping from a chamber, for example. And it is the utmost in insipidity to say that there can be limits to where conventional laws fail. A spring under normal force will oscillate when released, but, after too much force, the metal permanently deforms then breaks.
SleepTech
4.8 / 5 (5) Aug 03, 2012
Listen to the podcast provided in the link. The guy does a pretty good job at explaining it.
omatwankr
2.3 / 5 (9) Aug 03, 2012
"He called the process Hawking radiation, and sure enough, no one has ever been able to detect them."

A theory predicting the lack of evidence is proof of?
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 03, 2012
"Witten says that while the theory is right, of course, its only right in a certain respect, because it violates the laws of thermodynamics, which say that if a reaction is possible then there is always supposed to be an opposite reaction."

Reading the podcast transcript, Witten is pointing out that thermodynamics are based on reversibility for microstates, while the macroscopic integrated theory admits irreversibility. And of course quantum mechanics has the reversibility too, or it wouldn't be compatible with thermodynamics.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.6 / 5 (9) Aug 03, 2012
"But looking at the hugeness of a black hole across the vast distance of space, it definitely appears all consuming; always taking and never giving, to us appearing as if nothing, not even a photon could ever escape its clutches. Thats how you reconcile the two viewpoints."

Actually, no. He argues that "it can definitely emit an ordinary elementary particle, or an atom" though rarely in the statistical physics sense. So for example we wouldn't see a chair emitted within a lifetime of the universe.

@ julienpenrod:

It is hard to say if you are irreversibly trolling or reversibly ignorant. Witten explains the basics of thermodynamics that you are so confused by, go to the podcats, or a textbook in TD.
tkjtkj
5 / 5 (3) Aug 03, 2012
"He called the process Hawking radiation, and sure enough, no one has ever been able to detect them."

A theory predicting the lack of evidence is proof of?


;) but yes, there is that certain 'brilliance' to it .. Wish i had thought of it .. On the other hand, it opens my path to the predictions of an infinite number of ideas! Where, oh where, shall i begin!

(forgive me , Dr. Hawking .. i know you've a sense of humor ;))
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (15) Aug 03, 2012
Torbjorn Larsson OM proves their own ignorance and belligerence by their failing to point out faults in what I said. A common New World Order non argument tactic, merely contemptuously dismiss what someone says, without explaining why, and leave it to the dullards, who are the NWO's target audience, to lap it all up. But the fact is, even thermodynamics does not require that all processes be reversible. The fundamental laws of thermodynamics do not require that all processes be reversible. The inclusion of a provision that entory must increase under certain circumstances proves thermodynamics does not require all systems to be reversible. Tobjporn Larsson OM will not dispute this legitimately, they can't. They are only a self serving loudmouth.
PosterusNeticus
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 03, 2012
It is hard to say if you are irreversibly trolling or reversibly ignorant. Witten explains the basics of thermodynamics that you are so confused by, go to the podcats, or a textbook in TD.


Mr. Penrod's radio does not receive Sanity FM. It only picks up Art Bell and the carrier wave that you, I, and the other NWO agents use to broadcast our secret messages.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 03, 2012
@PosterusNeticus - Code 1415, Subsection 14, part B.

Your admission has been reported to your local superior ploclormenent.

PosterusNeticus
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 04, 2012
Very well. I'll take my assigned suicide pill just as soon as I've finished loading Forumla X45-J into the secret dispersal tanks we've installed aboard every aircraft in the world.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (4) Aug 04, 2012
a black hole should be able to let some things out
I feel this is incorrect.

Hawking failed to account for the infalling particle's GP/KE with the black hole, in regards to the total energy of the system.

If you look at Hawking's original work here:

http://prac.us.ed...king.pdf

...you'll find he simply doesn't describe this part of the system. He, rather infers that due to the conservation laws, the infalling particle must have negative energy relative to a distant observer. This would only be true of the infalling particle upon separation from the VP pair, but not to the infalling particle/black hole relationship.

It's important to note; even a distant observer will agree there's a GP/KE relationship between the infalling particle and the black hole.

So, the infalling particle subtracts it's negative energy/mass from the black hole, but adds its GP/KE to the black hole.

Voila, matter/energy from nothing (a conservation violation). Truly, a conundrum.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (9) Aug 04, 2012
Note again the "quality" of so much commentary on this site, which is a reflection on the site, itself.
I provided a straightforward, verified description of the role of reversibility in thermodynamics. I provided veifiable information and a legitimate comment on the subject. PosterusNeticus painted me as not being sane and Vendicar Decarian extended the japery. And, in contrast to the minimal scores I received, Vendicar Decarian received a score of 5. Apparently from the loyal quisling Vendicar Decarian keeps around specifically for the purpose of giving them a 5 score after every single message they post.
And, in all their attacks, not once did either of them point out any flaws in what I said.
Because there are no flaws. PosterusNeticus and Vendicar Decarian are, like Torbjorn Larsson OM don't disp[ute because I was wrong, but only to be belligerent. Their kind used to be called "contrary", then "difficult", and now clinical.
Bewia
1 / 5 (6) Aug 04, 2012
why quantum mechanics says a black hole should be able to let some things out
I explained it here many times. The quantum mechanics predicts, the wave packets of particles would always spread into infinity - it follows from Schroedinger equation solution for free particle. Whereas the general relativity predicts, all massive objects would collapse into singularity. It has been found in 60's during analysis of J.A.Wheeler's geon concept. Geon is object fully compliant with general relativity, it consists from gravitational waves only.
In real life nothing really expands of collapses, so that the predictions of both these theories are violated in equal way and they're compensating mutually. The black holes are general relativity concepts, so it's evident, it will be affected with it as well. IMO it's better to consider them as a dense quark, neutrino or axion stars. Note that Steady state cosmology requires the black hole evaporation, or it couldn't work at all.
Bewia
1.2 / 5 (5) Aug 04, 2012
black hole surely is capable of the occasional lapse, allowing a particle or even a whole atom to escape
The massive evaporation of black holes may be observed at most galaxies, which apparently contain very massive central black holes, with intensive accretion and emanation of jets. The black holes inside of mature galaxies like Milky Way are quiet and quite negligible in compare to the mass of galaxy. Apparently they're forming a dense remnants of much larger objects. Whereas the very old dwarf galaxies often contain no central hole at all. The recent observations of gamma ray in Milky Way bring the indicia, the quantum evaporation of central black hole inside of Milky Way is not finished yet. French astronomer LaViolette deduced before many years already periodic episodes of Milky Way activity and it's possible, they're contributing to global warming periods.
Bewia
1 / 5 (5) Aug 04, 2012
..seen up close and personal, a black hole surely is capable of the occasional lapse, allowing a particle or even a whole atom to escape. But looking at the hugeness of a black hole across the vast distance of space, it definitely appears all consuming; always taking and never giving, to us appearing as if nothing, not even a photon could ever escape its clutches. Thats how you reconcile the two viewpoints..
This view essentially puts the solar system inside of black hole. In this sense whole Milky Way is gigantic fuzzy surface of black hole (a fuzzball), which is residing in it. The even horizon from massive bosons and objects formed with them is just less visible, more bulky and sparse, than the event horizon for photons. The fuzzball is concept of string theorists and it was essentially misunderstood in this way. Not only such a fuzzballs are easy to observe - we are living inside of one of them.
Bewia
1 / 5 (8) Aug 04, 2012
black hole SURELY is capable of the occasional lapse
Surely? I was banned for this idea even few weeks before from here.. This is one of my posts deleted during this:

"The periodic flatulence of central area of Milky Way was conjectured with French astronomer LaViolette before many years already and documented with radioactive iridium deposits in Antarctic ice. If you take a look at the recent observations of central area of Milky Way, you may recognize the feature, which appears like the bundle of jets. One of possible explanations may be, that the central black hole emanates the neutrino jets periodically, which are annihilating with CMBR noise to the gamma ray photons. If the central hole rotates like the pulsar, its jets will point in different directions during each explosion. So MAYBE the above axion theory has an observational support already."
Bewia
Aug 04, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Bewia
1 / 5 (5) Aug 04, 2012
we haven't measured Hawking radiation isn't because it isn't there over large spaces. It's just so incredibly low intensity stuff that we have no hope of detecting it here
At the moment, when we imagine the event horizon of black holes crumbled into surface of many tiny particles which are forming the massive objects within galaxy, then all light escaping from Milky Way can be considered as a Hawking radiation. Note that in Beckenstein/Hawking's theory the wavelenght of light emanated is proportional to the diameter of object, which is radiating. Whereas such an interpretation may be disputable for massive objects within galaxy (the particles itself don't evaporate, it's their aggregates which are gaining an entropy during this), the central jets of black hole definitely belong into it. In essence, we should credit Mr. Hawking, because he ingeniously predicted, that the galaxies are shining in visible light.
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Aug 04, 2012
BTW all my posts here are downvoted with "lite" account. Some old school teacher apparently cannot imagine the new physics. But Witten is sufficiently smart for being able to do it:
"One thing I can tell you, though, is that most string theorists suspect that spacetime is a emergent Phenomena in the language of condensed matter physics"
So we can imagine the progress in physics as fuzzy, as the event horizon of black holes. Whereas the frontiers are already verifying new predictions with experiments and observations, some chronic conservatives are still fighting with them. There is no sharp line of progress.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (5) Aug 04, 2012
@bewia: If you can't make your point without posting a book, please go somewhere else. This isn't intended to be a venue for people who only wish to exposit at great length their fringe theories.
Bewia
1 / 5 (7) Aug 04, 2012
But Witten postulated already, that black holes can emanate massive particles occasionally already and he used a statistical (i.e. essentially particle gas) physics for his reasoning - I'm just explaining it in wider context. The black hole complementarity isn't mine theory too - Susskind and another physicists invented it. I'm just explaining it here. I posted whole blog about it, but I think, it would be more useful and comfortable for laymans to read about it in context of particular articles. If my ideas are fringe, then Mr. Witten's and Susskind's ideas are fringe as well.

We should realize, there is no good formal reason for why to consider black holes more quantum objects, than classical theory considers. The formal math will not help you in understanding of these reasons - you should have deeper qualitative/geometric insight into it. Of course, if we say, that the QM enables the black hole radiate matter, then we should admit, that the QM enables the superluminal transport.
Bewia
Aug 04, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
jsdarkdestruction
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 04, 2012
no, your cold fusion talk is spamming about a pipedream that has no basis in reality. thats what upsets people.
Bewia
1 / 5 (7) Aug 04, 2012
You should tell it to Boeing and NASA, which develop the cold fusion aircraft design together. Cold fusion only upsets the mediocre physicists and their rocking chair wannabes - not the common people who feel the hope for human civilization in it.
daywalk3r
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 04, 2012
But Witten postulated already, that black holes can emanate massive particles occasionally already and he used a statistical (i.e. essentially particle gas) physics for his reasoning

Nope.

What mr. Witten actually did, was to reach a conclusion based on pristine LOGIC instead of the usual "what I think the numbers try to tell me" proccess, which I cannot but applaud him for :-)

Though the "even a whole atom" thing might be "a weeeee bit" far fetched (actually not-sure-if-serrious), as it would directly imply that:

A.) an atom can pass the event horizon without a structural integrity failure, and/or
B.) that there are convetional atoms readily available inside the BH.

Neither of those two seem much likely.
daywalk3r
2.5 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2012
You should tell it to Boeing and NASA, which develop the cold fusion aircraft design together http://ntrs.nasa....8934.pdf

Major defining quote right from that particular paper:

In this study the SUGAR Team has assumed, for the purposes of technology planning and establishing system requirements that the LENR technology will work. We have not conducted an independent technology feasibility assessment. The technology plan contained in this section merely identifies the steps that would need to take place to develop a propulsion system for aviation that utilizes LENR technology.

HAHAH hahah HAHAhahahahah..

/MEGAFACEPALM !!! :-D :oD :=D

Sorry, could not help it.. still laughing :-)
Bewia
1 / 5 (6) Aug 04, 2012
What mr. Witten actually did, was to reach a conclusion based on pristine LOGIC
It's because the logic is fundamental basis of math: you must use logic to construct a rigor, not vice-versa. In math all hypothesis must be proven with predicate logics before they can be used in subsequent derivations. Unfortunately the physics is still way too ad-hoced and empirical: many postulates and concepts introduced into it have no robust roots in its underlying logics.
We have not conducted an independent technology feasibility assessment.. ha, ha..
NASA did such assessments, Boeing's SUGAR team "just" designs planes. The rocket constructors don't develop the rocket fuels - it's work of independent chemists and physicists.
daywalk3r
2.7 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2012
NASA did such assessments http://technology...nr.html, Boeing's SUGAR team "just" designs planes. The rocket constructors don't develop the rocket fuels - it's work of independent chemists and physicists.

Ugh..

That link just points to a short NASA PR video, where one of it's employees goes all "sci-fi" on the implications of a working and reproducible LENR discovery..

Maybe try harder? Like perhaps supplying a link to a serrious paper, for a change?

Oh wait.. there is none?! Blimey :-(

PS: And you totally missed the point, which was that the paper you linked and used as "proof" in your previous post was just a "preliminary feasibility assesment" of a LENR-based aviation propulsion system IF LENR WAS REAL.

These kind of studies are commonly done way in advance of technology, and serve the sole purpose of providing a head start (so they know which way to go) in case the technology was to be successfuly tested/confirmed in the future..
LordKinyambiss
5 / 5 (2) Aug 04, 2012
Cold Fusion= Cow Dung
jsdarkdestruction
4 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2012
zephyr, you promised me over a year ago that rossi would have his devices readily available for study and prove they work within a few months. has that happened yet?
Bewia
1 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2012
@jsdarkdestruction: I'm not Rossi, I cannot promise anything instead of him. What I remember is, that after demonstration of 1 MW E-Cat unit in October 28, 2011 Rossi said, this is very last public demonstration of his technology. He promised the sales of his domestic 10 kW units at the end of 2012 year instead. Why physicists didn't attempt to replicate the experiments of Piantelli and Foccardi during this year instead? Rossi claims COP ~ 6, but Piantelli over ~ 3. IMO it's not so big difference and all details of Piantelli's experiments went public before twenty years already. BTW this is not what this article is about.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2012
Cold Fusion= Cow Dung

Nah. You can actually burn cow dung and get some energy out of it.
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2012
I'm just interested, what all proponents of mainstream physics will say, when Rossi (or someone else) will throw the cold fusion at the market. Nothing illustrates the incompetence and ignorance of mainstream physicists better, than their opinion regarding cold fusion. They know about cold fusion of hydrogen at nickel whole twenty years - and they did nothing. Instead if it, they continue in boycotting of this research. If this event will not open the eyes of skeptics, then I really don't know, what else could the people help into better understanding of their own civilization.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Aug 05, 2012
I'm just interested, what all proponents of mainstream physics will say, when Rossi (or someone else) will throw the cold fusion at the market.

I can tell you what they'll say:

Holy cow: it works? That is awesome.
Here: have a Nobel prize
(and no: this isn't sarcasm)

But somehow I doubt that will happen.
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2012
That's indeed lovely, but we aren't paying the physicists for being surprised with new facts researched for decades like small naive kids. They should do their own experiments independently inbetween. The Nobel price is dedicated for professional physicists - not for people like Andrea Rossi, who never published anything useful about it and who follow their commercial interests only. Such an attitude will demonstrate, that the scientific method has no effective way, how to propagate interest about fundamental findings into community of physicists. Because the physicists itself have no mechanism how to distinguish, what is really important in physics and what not, the system of their research must be revised from outside with respect to prioritization of scientific research for to avoid such an ignorance for future. Or the physicists are in risk, that they would lost the money for their research, because the economy would have nothing to pay with.
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2012
inbetween = "during this time", lost the money = "lose the money", etc...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Aug 05, 2012
They should do their own experiments independently inbetween.

What do you think physicists do all day? Twiddle their thumbs?
They research the stuff that is most important and most likely to bear fruit (because today there's pretty strict oversight of research funds).

Cold fusion has had its day (more like decade) of physicists trying to replicate it. With lots of money thrown that way (because at the time the payoff did seem promising - and that was OK).
But it didn't work. (As I have told all your dozens of sockpuppets in the past. With links. But you choose to ignore the facts. As usual)

At some time you just have to stop beating a dead horse. it's getting embarassing.
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2012
Cold fusion has had its day ..of physicists trying to replicate it... But it didn't work.
This is just a belief of yours. The cold fusion of hydrogen at nickel of Piantelli and Focardi (published first in 1991) was never attempted to replicate, in peer-reviewed press the less (there are many replicators outside of mainstream already, but they were ignored in the same way). The first step to realize, this fusion can be working is to admit, it was never analyzed with mainstream physics. Until you cannot admit it at public, then the stance of yours about it will remain as unqualified and religious, as the stance of mainstream physics. You're simply residing in alternative reality, stuffed with lies, demagogy and propaganda. Do you realize, that whole scientific community managed to survive with the very same stance whole twenty years without problem? To prove the opposite is actually very simple: just link some peer-reviewed publication about nickel fusion, and we will see...;-)
Bewia
1 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2012
The absence of publications for process, which actually worked without problem happened many times in human history. The best documented example is the nuclear fission. The Stalin realized, that western physicists are working about something big from the only indicia - the articles about nuclear fission disappeared from physical journals overnight. Don't ask me, how is it possible...;-) Other examples are documented here and here. Just try to think about it logically: if some patent about some solar cells with efficiency 20% (i.e nothing particular) can be censored with government without problem, why not the articles about research of cold fusion?
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (5) Aug 05, 2012
Despite daywalk3r's determined adulation, if Witten did not acknowledge the fact that themodynamics allows and even accepts as fundamental that not all systems need by reproducible, then he did not use logic. And daywalk3r should be reminded that the "logic" of everything from thermodynamics to relativity came from what experiments claimed they thought the numbers were trying to tell them.
And, with respect to the introduction of thermodynamics to relativistic situations, it should be remembered that themodynamics was derived solely on the basis of Newtonian mechanics and, for that matter, with diffident acceptance of things like action at a distance and instantaeous signals in defining conditions of a system. There does not seem to be an actual accepted theory of relativistic thermodynamics, much less defining what happens at the interface between this unverse, with one set of rules, and what supposedly lay beyond a black hole horizon.
po6ert
1 / 5 (1) Aug 05, 2012
once an article has disapeared into the black hole of a paywall,
does any information with out the help of a hacker or a hawking?
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2012
Poor UbVonTard. He doesn't even realize that Hawking was discussing virtual particle pairs, and hence there is no PE/KE to consider.

"Hawking failed to account for the infalling particle's GP/KE with the black hole, in regards to the total energy of the system." - UbVonTard

A particle/antiparticle pair manifest near the event horizon. Their new existence does not alter the gravitational field of the space around them since they were created from vacuum energy that produces the same space time curvature.

One particle becomes unavailable to the future by falling inward. The other moves outward and is detected by a far away observer.

In it's travel, it has reduced the gravitational field of the BH, and since gravity is a function of energy density the energy density of the BH must have been magically lowered in the process.

Alas. Poor UnVonTard. He is so easily confused.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Sep 05, 2012
(higher density gradient of vacuum) - so it can reflect back the heavier particles and more energetic waves with total reflection mechanism.

Wow. You're almost as good as the post modern essay generator.
http://en.wikiped...enerator

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