Physicists split on ideas expressed in Hawking's latest black hole paper

January 28, 2016 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org weblog
A black hole devouring a star. Credit: NASA

(Phys.org)—It has been nearly a month since, Stephen Hawking, Malcolm Perry and Andrew Strominger uploaded a paper to the arXiv preprint server that described a possible solution to the black-hole conundrum—they showed a way that information that had been pulled into a black hole could be retained via soft particles. Now that others in the field have had time to react to the paper, there appears to be a split—some agree with the findings in the paper while others suggest that there is still a vital piece of the puzzle to be explained.

The black hole conundrum came to exist due to work done by John Wheeler in the 60's and then Steven Hawking and colleagues—first in the early 70's and then later in 1976—it centers around the idea of what happens to the information contained in that are pulled into a black hole, once the black hole shrinks away to nothing. It was Hawking that first postulated that contrary to prior belief, do emit something—now called Hawking radiation. But, as he and colleagues noted in the later paper, such radiation would have properties that are completely random, and that would suggest that once the black hole was gone, some of the information carried by the radiation would be lost—gone forever. This of course runs contrary to the laws of physics which state that energy is conserved—thus there came to exist a conundrum.

Moving forward 40 years, Hawking and colleagues believe they have solved the conundrum—the earlier work did not take into account the possibility of empty space carrying information, they suggest. More specifically, they propose that soft particles are at work. These particles they note, can exist in a zero energy state, and because of that particles falling into a black hole would leave information behind with them. Most in the field have been with them to this point, it is the next that causes concern. Hawking and his colleagues go on to suggest that a mechanism exists that is involved in allowing the information to be transferred—called black hole (soft )hair, a term they came up with to describe calculations that showed encoding data in quantum descriptions of the event horizon—information would be stored in them, and thus not lost.

Some in the field have expressed their frustration with the soft hair idea, in part because Hawking and his team have yet to explain how the exchange to the Hawking radiation would actually occur. This suggests that more work will have to be done before the idea will be accepted by the majority of scientists in the field.

Explore further: Stephen Hawking says he's solved a black hole mystery, but physicists await the proof

More information: Soft Hair on Black Holes, arXiv:1601.00921 [hep-th] arxiv.org/abs/1601.00921

Abstract
It has recently been shown that BMS supertranslation symmetries imply an infinite number of conservation laws for all gravitational theories in asymptotically Minkowskian spacetimes. These laws require black holes to carry a large amount of soft (i.e. zero-energy) supertranslation hair. The presence of a Maxwell field similarly implies soft electric hair. This paper gives an explicit description of soft hair in terms of soft gravitons or photons on the black hole horizon, and shows that complete information about their quantum state is stored on a holographic plate at the future boundary of the horizon. Charge conservation is used to give an infinite number of exact relations between the evaporation products of black holes which have different soft hair but are otherwise identical. It is further argued that soft hair which is spatially localized to much less than a Planck length cannot be excited in a physically realizable process, giving an effective number of soft degrees of freedom proportional to the horizon area in Planck units.

Related Stories

What is the black hole information paradox?

October 29, 2015

In my day, things were simple. Robot dogs had wheels and laser noses. School was uphill both ways. Unwanted children removed themselves from lawns, and we didn't need those horrible electrified tentacle arms. The cut of my ...

Video: How do black holes evaporate?

April 14, 2015

Nothing lasts forever, not even black holes. According to Stephen Hawking, black holes will evaporate over vast periods of time. But how, exactly, does this happen?

Recommended for you

Accelerating light beams in curved space

January 12, 2018

By shining a laser along the inside shell of an incandescent light bulb, physicists have performed the first experimental demonstration of an accelerating light beam in curved space. Rather than moving along a geodesic trajectory ...

New exotic phenomena seen in photonic crystals

January 12, 2018

Topological effects, such as those found in crystals whose surfaces conduct electricity while their bulk does not, have been an exciting topic of physics research in recent years and were the subject of the 2016 Nobel Prize ...

47 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NoStrings
3 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2016
O jeez, more obsession about 'information' preservation form a black hole. This information is of no use, just drop it guys. Seriously, find something of value to do.
baudrunner
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 28, 2016
The problem with information is that it has no mass. The notion that black holes evaporate is beyond counter-intuitive, it is a direct violation of the first law of thermodynamics. I think that we should describe a new model to fit with what we observe, because the current paradigm has just become so much pseudo-science. It's beginning to look embarrassingly ridiculous.

What again is the explanation for what it is that makes a black hole stop being an inescapable gravity well and begin to peter out? Does it do this out of boredom?
bschott
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2016
These particles they note, can exist in a zero energy state,


Okay Stephen.

. Most in the field have been with them to this point, it is the next that causes concern.


Zero energy particles are of no concern? Hawking radiation decaying into DM...ahhhh the gravity of information is finally observed.

Some in the field have expressed their frustration with the soft hair idea, in part because Hawking and his team have yet to explain how the information exchange to the Hawking radiation would actually occur


I love black hole stories.

promile
Jan 28, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
promile
Jan 28, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2016
Is it really so?
No. Of course not. If it were the problem would be solved and there'd be no B.S. to run to for shelter from all those adoring minions. You'd have all those pseudo-physicist trolls turning into homeless junkies. What, lose that respect? You're banned!!!

Whatever you do, if you want to get accepted in that community, you have to stop making sense. And you have to all do it together.
promile
Jan 28, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
promile
Jan 28, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (2) Jan 28, 2016
The best in the business have backtracked on their ideas before. Einstein on his static universe theory for instance. Hawking wants to run from the quagmire before a hundred years are gone - that's not exactly what I would call closure. Fortunately for them, because they are major league contributing thinkers to the cause, they and others like them will be spared my stinger.

Plenty of the rest are pseudo-wannabe psycho physicist trolls who, upon meeting someone, first asks the victim if they know calculus, and if you talk to them long enough they'll tell you that they are nihilists. Oh, and their eyes are sex-fused.
Mimath224
5 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2016
'...the earlier work did not take into account the possibility of empty space carrying information,...'
To me this seems like an odd statement for scientists/math physicists to make. I think even the most uninformed layperson has learned that space is just isn't empty. However, as a layman, I thought that Q Info Theory does not yet have the answers to how info is actually stored within a Q system so isn't the Hawking paper a little premature? Obviously I will stand corrected when more informed posters here tell me otherwise.
Steve 200mph Cruiz
5 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2016
No strings, you need to understand fundamental physics to advance technology.
No one can imagine the technology a thousand years from now, who are you to say this research has no value.
It was 500 years after Newton figured out how to leave the earth that we actually did it
Seeker2
not rated yet Jan 29, 2016
I'm not saying Hawking radiation doesn't exist but it's not really relevant for large black holes. Reason being the anti-gravity affect of antimatter makes much more sense to me. Any antimatter in a strong gravitational field like around a black hole will high-tail it out of the neighborhood as fast as possible because of anti-gravity. So the threshold energy for virtual particles to separate into real particles gets lower and lower. So most likely nearly all virtual particles generated by the dark energy inside a black hole will be transformed to real particles and expelled very quickly, in the process annihilating with normal matter in or around the black hole and causing all hell to break loose. The process is probably modulated as nearer and nearer to the singularity in the black hole the vacuum energy density decreases as does pair production. Now the implication is the black hole accretes matter as pair production continues. TBC
Seeker2
not rated yet Jan 29, 2016
Cont
Pair production continues, and the black hole grows, as long as the dark energy is around to hold it together with entropic gravity. Hawking radiation decreases as the black hole grows, and eventually all information is collected in the belly of one big black hole, most likely leading to the next big crunch.
Seeker2
not rated yet Jan 29, 2016
So most likely nearly all virtual particles generated by the dark energy inside a black hole will be transformed to real particles and expelled very quickly, in the process annihilating with normal matter in or around the black hole and causing all hell to break loose.
Correction - the antiparticles will be expelled very quickly.
promile
Jan 29, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
promile
Jan 29, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
promile
Jan 29, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2016
Well, maybe; if we talk about each single wavelet and the motion that caused it is calculable. So we can follow the creator of that wavelet by its follow up wavelets. So the black whole, if realizable by theory, nothing is defined at this singularity. It would be the sole signal and very large at the center. But no information from each creator. But this is just gravity as the static field an oscillation otherwise. I would say this cannot be supported with Maxwell logic or any other. For all information is Maxwell as well. So no the definition of a black hole, it is flawed. The singularity of placing all charge at the same or nearly the same point; but the field of each individual charge, point, exist. Never created or destroyed. The boundary conditions of each point charge have never been defined. So yea, information is lost because of the theory. It is a fantasy. You can't reshape space and time. As a Gage theory it is still bad.
Hyperfuzzy
3 / 5 (2) Jan 29, 2016
Your boundary condition with the boundary conditions according to the tools during the measurements. Without logic to deny physics Maxwell without using the tools of Maxwell. So far as I can see, what you are trying to explain is explainable with Maxwell. Only denial makes these sort of papers Science!

You see, this idea was not defined during identification such as Newton, measure it. Define a relation. Or Maxwell, essentially gathering the information learned fro the same process.

GR, the Standard Model, QM, are thrown in without anything but your wits. It's only witty if you see reasons for denial. Juz make sure you deny the error and accept the truth.
viko_mx
2 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2016
The hypothetical objects and events that create paradoxes actually does not exist in this highly ordered universe. Black hole is mathematic objects that is derived from the mathematical theory of general relativity. Both have nothing common with the physical world. Mathematics can describe both real and fictional physical objects and events.
Seeker2
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2016
The hypothetical objects and events that create paradoxes actually does not exist in this highly ordered universe. Black hole is mathematic objects that is derived from the mathematical theory of general relativity. Both have nothing common with the physical world. Mathematics can describe both real and fictional physical objects and events.
So how's your GPS working?
viko_mx
2 / 5 (4) Jan 30, 2016
The idea that GPS system works thanks to GR is another popular mythology.
Seeker2
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2016
The idea that GPS system works thanks to GR is another popular mythology.
I see. Tell us how does it work? Black magic?
viko_mx
3 / 5 (4) Jan 30, 2016
GPS system works thanks to the physical laws and different corrections on the trajectory of its satellites.This system use the principle of triangulation.

GPS receiver receives the signals from the 3 or 4 most adjacent to it location satellites and by the delay of this signals determines the distance between the receiver and each of these satellites. The signals of all satellites of the system must be synchronized in time to be able to be determined the exact delays. It is also necessary to be known the spherical coordinates of the satellites of the GPS system referenced to the Earth's center and the distances between all sattelites of the system.
It is known that the men can not create Ideal situations, so distances between these satellites are not uniform and tends to change with time, which could impair the accuracy of the system. Therefore are required different geometric and physical corrections in real time, thanks to which GPS can provide practical accuracy to several mete
viko_mx
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2016
Knowing the speed of propagation of electromagnetic waves in space and Earth atmosphere and current distance between GPS sattelites at straight line, is not a problem to synchronize their signals with the necessary corrections. In this situation, the pure mathematical GR theory does not bring anything useful in the work of this system.
Zzzzzzzz
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 30, 2016
Seeker....my recommendation is to put viko_mx on your ignore list. This person never has anything of value to contribute, and is only here to defend his/her personal delusion. Your time is wasted trying to communicate with this person, since psychopaths are incapable of using or recognising logic or reason.
Zzzzzzzz
3.3 / 5 (7) Jan 30, 2016
The same can be said for promile. promile represents the fastest poster to make my ignore list with the fewest posts.
Steelwolf
2.5 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2016
What is overlooked is the fact that ALL information impresses itself on the timeline itself, which even though we only see time as flowing one direction, it is a solid, structure in and of itself. We measure time by the distance an item travels at a certain velocity as pertaining to time, but, all of those motions, all of those energies, leave an indelible record on the past timeline, the information is there, and permanently, but how does one access it? Thus, no information is lost at all in the case of a black hole, it just enters a different timescale frame of reference, but is still there.
viko_mx
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2016
Time is one of the absolutes. It have only one direction and always the same rate of propagation in the future direction. Because of this characteristics, can be defined the speed of physical interactions between all physical objects and structures in the universe for a certain period of time, before the cosmic matrix which is implemented in the vacuum of space or part of it be preprogrammed by the Creator.
Old_C_Code
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 30, 2016
vk says:
Knowing the speed of propagation of electromagnetic waves in space and Earth atmosphere and current distance between GPS sattelites at straight line, is not a problem to synchronize their signals with the necessary corrections. In this situation, the pure mathematical GR theory does not bring anything useful in the work of this system.


Exactly. Thank you. Anyone that defends relativity with the GPS baloney argument has never worked in a real world engineering environment, and thinks a theoretical calculation calibrates instrumentation.
Seeker2
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2016
Seeker....my recommendation is to put viko_mx on your ignore list. This person never has anything of value to contribute, and is only here to defend his/her personal delusion.
Certainly when they are totally incoherent. Else the easiest way for foreign powers to cripple our defense industry is to discredit science in the English-speaking world, And these powers are smart enough to realize that. They may be deploying their top scientific talent in this disinformation campaign. Unfortunate but possible, I fear.
Phys1
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2016
Time is one of the absolutes. It have only one direction and always the same rate of propagation in the future direction.

Special relativity says otherwise.
Because of this characteristics, can be defined the speed of physical interactions between all physical objects and structures in the universe for a certain period of time,

Not a necessary requirement.
before the cosmic matrix which is implemented in the vacuum of space or part of it be preprogrammed by the Creator.

The Great C Programmer Who Engineered The Holy Matrix.
Phys1
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 30, 2016
Seeker....my recommendation is to put viko_mx on your ignore list. This person never has anything of value to contribute, and is only here to defend his/her personal delusion.
Certainly when they are totally incoherent. Else the easiest way for foreign powers to cripple our defense industry is to discredit science in the English-speaking world, And these powers are smart enough to realize that. They may be deploying their top scientific talent in this disinformation campaign. Unfortunate but possible, I fear.

Do you think that they sent viko_mx to destroy science?
Pathetic loosers !
___
Presently ignoring:
Benni bschott plasmarevenge cantdrive45 gkam kaiserderden Shootist antigoracle Seeker2 promile swordsman viko_mx DavidW bluehigh baudrunner Solon hyperfuzzy julianpenrod emaalouf theprocessionist wduckss Old_C_Code Bigbangcon katesisco jimbraumcos
This list is updated continuously. If you start making sense you are removed.
Seeker2
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2016
Do you think that they sent viko_mx to destroy science?
Could be in the English-speaking world. How about yourself?
Phys1
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2016
@Seeker2
Some clarification would be useful.
Seeker2
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2016
@Seeker2
Some clarification would be useful.
And just what do you intend to do with this clarification?
viko_mx
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 30, 2016
"Special relativity says otherwise."

I do not care what claims the supporters of one mathematical theory about the physical world, after this theory has never confirmed by scientific observations or experiments.
tblakely1357
not rated yet Jan 31, 2016
Some of these comments remind of that scientist who submitted some 'soft' science papers for publication that were chock full of jargon related to that field. Of course his papers were nonsense but they successfully navigated the peer review process and got published. He didn't make many friends when he exposed his scam. :P
Mimath224
5 / 5 (1) Jan 31, 2016
What is overlooked is the fact that ALL information impresses itself on the timeline itself, which even though we only see time as flowing one direction, it is a solid, structure in and of itself. We measure time by the distance an item travels at a certain velocity as pertaining to time, but, all of those motions, all of those energies, leave an indelible record on the past timeline, the information is there, and permanently, but how does one access it? Thus, no information is lost at all in the case of a black hole, it just enters a different timescale frame of reference, but is still there.

Well, that'll be true if it is found/proved that Time can exist as p,p & f independently of the meaning of the 'arrow' of Time. If this were so then theoretically information would remain 'embedded' and accessible (mind boggles as to 'how'). I actually favour this idea which is why I up voted you. That said, all of my efforts have ended up in the waste bin and am back at sq. 1, Ha!
Irukanji
not rated yet Feb 01, 2016
Correction - the antiparticles will be expelled very quickly.


So is it absurb to think maybe the lack of antimatter in the universe is because it's all trapped in blackholes?
Phys1
5 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2016
"Special relativity says otherwise."

I do not care what claims the supporters of one mathematical theory about the physical world,

You do not care about physics.
You are here to spread lies and threats.
after this theory has never confirmed by scientific observations or experiments.

That is a lie.
promile
Feb 01, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
viko_mx
not rated yet Feb 01, 2016
@Phys1

I propose arguments and explanations. You offer only emotional declarations and aggression. Do you realize that you can not have a strong position after you can not rely on scientific facts?
Benni
2 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2016
"Special relativity says otherwise."


I do not care what claims the supporters of one mathematical theory about the physical world,

You do not care about physics.
You are here to spread lies and threats.
after this theory has never confirmed by scientific observations or experiments.

That is a lie.


Hey there Stumpy,

I see the new sign-on handle to Phys 1 is having a bad metamorphosis. You realize of course, Axemaster will be on this case because he has such high standards. Why did you pick first semester physics as the new sign-on? You have never passed a calculus course, so how could you know anything about 1st semester physics math except what you Copy & Paste from WikiPedia minus the calculus?
Seeker2
not rated yet Feb 01, 2016
Correction - the antiparticles will be expelled very quickly.


So is it absurb to think maybe the lack of antimatter in the universe is because it's all trapped in blackholes?
Sure seems like it to me.
Seeker2
not rated yet Feb 01, 2016
What is overlooked is the fact that ALL information impresses itself on the timeline itself, which even though we only see time as flowing one direction,...
Yes it only flows in one direction for matter but the opposite for antimatter. And we inhabit the same universe. So some antimatter and backwards time really is observed out there. Interesting consequence - reversing the EM field reverses the direction of motion of an electron so it appears as a positron. Unless nature is pulling a trick on us, reversing the gravitational field reverses the motion of a hydrogen atom so it appears as anti-hydrogen. As a consequence there is plenty of anti-hydrogen out there but it avoids us as much as possible. Good thing too else we wouldn't be around to talk about it. Nature is smarter than you think.
Seeker2
not rated yet Feb 01, 2016
Well, that'll be true if it is found/proved that Time can exist as p,p & f independently of the meaning of the 'arrow' of Time.
Not quite sure what you're saying here. Glad I got out of the education business where you might have to decipher these ideas every day. Anyway even though both arrows of time coexist, p.p&f wouldn't coexist. In the past both arrows of time would be shorter than at present. Opposite for the future. Ergo, time expands in two directions just like every other dimension in spacetime.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.