Black holes with 'dreadlocks' offer insight into quantum matter

November 6, 2017, Leiden University
Credit: Leiden University

Physicists understand little about quantum matter, which is a building block of future quantum computers. Theorists have now discovered that black holes with 'dreadlocks' harbor a similarly exotic order pattern, which makes calculations on quantum matter easier. The research is published in Physical Review Letters.

In our daily life, we recognize three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Other possible states form a much smaller part of our lives, such as magnetism, where all particles sit neatly organized next to each other, or super fluidity, where a material has zero viscosity. Materials can also be in a state in which particles are entangled. Entanglement is a mechanical phenomenon, so physicists call this state quantum matter. At the moment, we understand very little about this. A research team under supervision of Leiden physicist Jan Zaanen has now developed a theory for a different phenomenon that bears a striking resemblance to quantum matter.

Zaanen's theory describes a black hole with a prominent braided texture, like dreadlocks. This is in contradiction with the so-called 'no-hair theorem': don't have hair. It means that we can only measure three properties from a black hole—its mass, electric charge and angular momentum. The surface is completely smooth, like a shaved head. However, the theoretical version of a black hole in string theory can indeed have hair; in this case with a Rastafari haircut.

The theory gives physicists a handle to work on understanding the still mysterious state of quantum matter. This is because the Rastafari black hole turns out to harbor an orchestrated pattern of exotic forms of order, which is indistinguishable from experimental observations of 'high-temperature superconductivity'—a phenomenon that involves . Experimental physicists have been wondering for decades why they observe this exotic order. Zaanen now sees the same pattern in theoretical black holes with "dreadlocks."

Explore further: Seeking proof for the no-hair theorem

More information: Rong-Gen Cai et al. Intertwined Order and Holography: The Case of Parity Breaking Pair Density Waves, Physical Review Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.181601

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Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Nov 06, 2017
"Black holes with 'dreadlocks' offer insight into quantum matter"

isn't that a rather racist title...?
Noumenon
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2017
Great, there goes the astronomical neighborhood.

Black holes with 'dreadlocks' offer insight into quantum matter"


isn't that a rather racist title...?


It's Penrose who didn't like BH with hair, maybe he's the racist. lol
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2017
What's racist about dreadlocks?
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Nov 06, 2017
What's racist about dreadlocks?

Nothing wrong with it - Remember Bo Derek in "10"
Hell, I've even had them in my own hair
Typically (in the US, anyway), blacks are the usual wearers of dreadlocks - predominantly carribean.
"Black" hole... dreadlocks... being the connect.
Was just a little humorous sarcasm to elbow the uber Politically Correct among us...:-)
Caliban
5 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2017
What's racist about dreadlocks?

Nothing wrong with it - Remember Bo Derek in "10"
Hell, I've even had them in my own hair
Typically (in the US, anyway), blacks are the usual wearers of dreadlocks - predominantly carribean.
"Black" hole... dreadlocks... being the connect.
Was just a little humorous sarcasm to elbow the uber Politically Correct among us...:-)


Nyuck.

As long as we're explicating jokes that sometimes fly over the head, I should probably take this opportunity, @antialias_physorg, to respond to your several inquiries as to why I so often mispell or misuse the term "MAROON".

I am aware that maroon refers to a color- "reddish brown"; a verb- "to strand"; and even a noun- "a runaway slave(Caribbean), or descendants of such".

The actual reference, though, is to none of the above, but rather a malapropism committed by a character from Warner Brothers Studios' "Looney Tunes" Cartoons, in which sense and usage, MAROON = moron.

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2017
OK. Got it.
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2017
OK. Got it.


Sorry for the aggravation, which I would have long ago set straight, were it not for Porg's non-functional private messaging feature.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2017
No prob, I didn't get the reference and thought you were (unintentionally) misspelling it...which made it kinda self-defeating in my eyes.
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2017
Haha-

That's precisely it --an inverse double whammy!
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 08, 2017
Youse guys oughtta consider maybe the whammy was in the original, and the joke was on the Looney Toons characters themselves. What's up doc?

Surprisingly sophisticated for what are supposed to be childrens' entertainment.
Caliban
not rated yet Nov 08, 2017
@DaS,

I was of the understanding that pretty much everyone knows that those cartoons were (purposefully) aimed at an adult audience, principally in details such as this, while still being broad enough to crack up children.

Genius!!

I'm sure that you are aware of my sense of humor, and why I would find reference to such a classic jibe to be so appealing.

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