A couple of guys at Case Western think they’ve solved the Black Hole Information Loss Paradox.
So what’s the black hole information loss paradox? Well, think about it like this – there’s two fields of physics that describe most everything we’ve observed in the universe – quantum physics and the physics of general relativity. The problem with these two fellows is that each describes a couple of situations that cannot exist within the confines of the other. Quantum physics works well when you’re describing very small things, like subatomic particles. Relativity works well when you’re describing very big things, like galaxies. The “paradox” lies in trying to apply things that happen in one to how they apply in another. Gravity in particular gets very messy.
So, here’s the gist of the article:
According to Dejan Stojkovic, one of the papers authors, “An outside observer will never lose an object down a black hole. If you are sitting outside and throwing something into the black hole, it will never pass over but will stay outside the event horizon even if one considers the effects of quantum mechanics. In fact, since in quantum mechanics the observer plays an important role in measurement, the question of formation of an event horizon is much more subtle to consider.” What does this have to do with the information paradox? Since the outside observer never sees the formation of the event horizon in a finite time, the radiation that they can measure is not fully thermal, and can still carry information about the object that was tossed towards the black hole. Thus, information has not been lost, only changed; which is fine by all physical laws.
I can’t even begin to imagine the work that went into proving that…