Saturday, December 15, 2012

When You Fall Into a Black Hole, How Long Have You Got?


In chatting with colleagues after a talk this week, Joe Polchinski said he’d love to fall into a black hole. Most theoretical physicists would. It’s not because they have some peculiar death wish or because science funding prospects are so dark these days. They are just insanely curious about what would happen. Black holes are where the known laws of physics come into their most direct conflict. The worst trouble is the black hole information paradox that Stephen Hawking loosed upon the world in 1976. Polchinski and his colleagues have shown that the predicament is even worse than physicists used to think.

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