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Black Hole Information Loss Paradox Solution Proposed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the send-them-to-test-their-hypothesis dept.

Space 252

Anuborn Satirak writes to tell us that Physicists from Case Western Reserve University claim to have cracked the black hole information loss paradox that has puzzled physicists for the past 40 years. "The physicists are quick to assure astronomers and astrophysicists that what is observed in gravity pulling masses together still holds true, but what is controversial about the new finding is that 'from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon and that the clock for the objects falling into the black hole appears to slow down to zero,' said Krauss, director of Case's Center for Education and Research in Cosmology."

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usa sucks because of the following reasons (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19586883)

frost pist

what does the scouter say about his power level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587333)

its over nine thousand

1/0 (5, Funny)

eclectus (209883) | more than 6 years ago | (#19586913)

It's what happens in the physical world when you divide by zero.

Huge penis failure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587383)

In your pants. [goatse.cz]

This is why you need to keep back ups (0)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588165)

In case you drop your laptop in a black hole.

Solved tihs alrelady (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19586925)

Ah, esay one, I sloevd tihs one aegs ago, the irofntamion pbalbroy got lsot alnog the way.

Re:Solved tihs alrelady (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19588505)

What is it that allowed me to easily read that sentence despite the intentional mixing of characters?

Re:Solved tihs alrelady (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19588567)

Preservation of the positions of the first and last characters in each word. There was a study done by some university about it a while back; it works because we read in words, not letter-by-letter--or something like that.

Re:Solved tihs alrelady (3, Interesting)

Gherald (682277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588691)

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

-- http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/~mattd/Cmabrigde/ [cam.ac.uk]

obviously (5, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19586929)

Of course that's true, but is it also the case that a black hole can hold a stargate open, slowly sucking all of the surrounding area around the other gate into its time dilation bubble? Really, as a taxpayer funding this research, I want answers.

Re:obviously (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19586997)

Of course that's the case. Living near Colorado, I can distinctly remember my friends near Cheyenne Mountain inexplicably losing hours on December 8th, 1998 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:obviously (0, Redundant)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587071)

Of course that's true, but is it also the case that a black hole can hold a stargate open, slowly sucking all of the surrounding area around the other gate into its time dilation bubble? Really, as a taxpayer funding this research, I want answers.
Well as you know after O'neille and Sam got trapped on that ice planet they figured out eventually that the weapons fire behind them had caused the wormhole to switch gates [from SGC to antarctica] using that knowledge they then dealt with the later blackhole problem by detonating a high explosive device to cause the wormhole to switch gates thus taking the problematic gravity from the blackhole with it. thus we having learned from their mistakes intend to have a stock of 2 or 3 of these high explosive device just for such an occasion.

Re:obviously (3, Funny)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587073)

You are correct, it's known as the Tachyon-effect, in this case facilitated by the Einstein-Bohr-Hawking-Kryten-bridge. Can't find the wiki-page atm, I'll do a search later and post back.

Link to paper (5, Informative)

shma (863063) | more than 6 years ago | (#19586941)

Here's the preprint [arxiv.org] .

Re:Link to paper (4, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587199)

Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! My head!

Tags/Categories (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19586969)

File this one under "Who Gives a Fuck" category.

So... (4, Interesting)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19586975)

Are they saying black holes are perpetually in the creation phase, or they just don't exist at all unless they formed at the beginning of time?

Re:So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587167)

I think what they're saying is, if I put my cock into a black hole, or as some call it, a nappy headed black ho hole, I will last a really long time. Which is good news, because I love the badonkadonk. Baby got back, daddy like, daddy like. Shout out to my Slashdot sistahs. Give it up ladies, daddy want to tap that puzzizle with his dizzle.

Re:So... (0, Flamebait)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588569)

Oh come on guys, this is funnier than half of the posts that are trying to be funny, but you modded it down to troll. I didn't think /. was so politically correct.

Becoming infinitely long and lasting until the end of time does sound like fun.

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

BalkanBoy (201243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588723)

Well, the litmus test of whether this would be funny is if you were black, and around the age of 13-16. If you are still laughing then, you're free to mod the parent up as 'Funny'.

It's got nothing to do with Slashdot. What's 'funny' is as relative as the universe... If I said some of the thing I find funny, someone may even shoot me... So much for freedom of speech, right?

Re:So... (4, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588211)

Well, IINAP, but I think it's more like the actual hole part doesn't exist until the *end* of the universe.

A black hole is not a thing that exists in time and space, it's an event or process that is a warping the space-time fabric. It's a fine point, but it bears repeating -- a black hole is not a 'thing' that warps time-space, it *is* a warping of time-space. An object actually moving to the center of the black hole takes an infinitely long time to get there, so when it actually does get there, it happens to arrive right at the end of the universe.

So it kind of is like the black hole is perpetually in creation phase, but the matter doesn't disappear until the end of the universe. I read a post a few years back that the word for black hole in Russian is 'Collapsar'. Like a Pulsar always 'pulses', matter is always ( literally *always*, or, from now until the end of time ) collapsing in a Collapsar.

I'm confused (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#19586995)

I'm probably missing something here but from all I've read about black holes I've always read that it would appear to an observer that your clock would slow towards 0 (which is what they say in the article). So hasn't this been proposed in general already? Are they saying that you'd never appear to reach the event horizon?

Re:I'm confused (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587133)

Same here. I could swear we saw a movie in junior high school science class where a cartoon clock slowed and stopped as it fell into a black hole.

Re:I'm confused (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587217)

According to "traditional" theory, the person going INTO the black hole would appear to never get there. Not so from a person who is a safe distance away watching with a telescope.

What is new is that this new theory predicts that the person WATCHING would also never see the event horizon. How this works is completely unclear from the article. They seem to be saying that new black holes cannot form.

However, simple physics predicts that if you get enough mass in a small-enough area, the escape velocity exceeds C, so black holes CAN exist.

Somewhere there is a contradiction. Can somebody explain?

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587321)

However, simple physics predicts that if you get enough mass in a small-enough area, the escape velocity exceeds C, so black holes CAN exist.

Perhaps the density of a black hole is a fundamental limit for particle density, like c is for the speed of light?

Re:I'm confused (3, Interesting)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587929)

No, that's not correct. Normal GR predicts that (in the frame of someone away from the BH) the person falling into the black hole will take an infinite amount of time to reach the event horizon. In GR infinite time isn't the same thing as never! In the frame of the person falling into the BH (the proper time frame,) the faller crosses the event horizon in finite time and hits the center quite quickly (for non-huge black holes). The confusion and controversy lies in the concept of infinite time. Some take it to mean that black holes can't actually form (and must either be primordial or not exist). But infinite time might be a finite distance away due to weirdness with coordinates. An object falling through an event horizon might pass through infinite future and then travel back in time from the infinite future to the current. In the outside viewers frame, there might be two copies of the in-falling person, one inside and one outside. In this scenario, black holes can exist, and can contain the mass of stuff that falls into the hole...before it falls into the hole! Or it could all be bullshit and artifact of a broken theory of gravity.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19588475)

But infinite time might be a finite distance away due to weirdness with coordinates. An object falling through an event horizon might pass through infinite future and then travel back in time from the infinite future to the current. In the outside viewers frame, there might be two copies of the in-falling person, one inside and one outside. In this scenario, black holes can exist, and can contain the mass of stuff that falls into the hole...before it falls into the hole!
yeah, I think I remember learning that in college. While doing bong hits up on the roof of the chemistry department...

This article is identical to what we covered... (2, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588661)

This article is identical to what we covered... in 300 level Modern Physics in college in 1983.

I don't see how this is new or radical, except for the general population, who seem to think that for every "black hole" there is a corresponding "white hole", or that when you "fall into a black hole", you somehow end up somewhere else.

You should read Feynman's lecture series; he has one from the 50's that debunks the idea of a "graviton" or a particulate carrier for gravity because of the need for it to have mass.

-- Terry

Re:I'm confused (4, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587363)

The article preprint [arxiv.org] (Warning: PDF) is fairly readable (although obviously still quite technical). This is my understanding based upon that preprint. Note that I'm not a cosmologist, so I would appreciate others to point out any mistakes I make.

Firstly, they emphasize in their paper that they are considering their problem from the point of view of an external observer, rather than the point of view of an observer falling into the black hole. They write:

The process of black hole formation is generally discussed from the viewpoint of an infalling observer. However, in all physical settings it is the viewpoint of the asymptotic observer that is relevant. More concretely, if a black hole is formed in the Large Hadron Collider, it has to be observed by physicists sitting on the CERN campus.
They also contrast their results with previously accepted analysis of black hole formation:

In Sec. III we verify the standard result that the formation of an event horizon takes an infinite (Schwarzschild)time if we consider classical collapse. This is not surprising and is often viewed as a limitation of the Schwarzschild coordinate system. To see if this result changes when quantum effects are taken into account, we address the problem of quantum collapse using a minisuperspace version of the functional Schrodinger equation [2] in Sec. IV. We find that even in this case the black hole takes an infinite time to form, contrary to some speculations in the literature [3].
So, in essence, they are presenting findings that suggest that even quantum effects are taken into account, the collapse takes an infinite amount of time. This is signficant because it means that while the collapsing mass can appear to get closer and closer to being a singularity, it can never really achieve this final state to an external observer. How this relates to information loss is then described:

the shell, even as it collapses, radiates away its energy in a finite amount of time... we conclude that the evaporation time is shorter than what would be taken by objects to fall through a black hole horizon.
So, in essence, the collapse of the black hole takes an infinite amount of time, during which time the black hole will evaporate via Hawking radiation [wikipedia.org] . So objects falling into a black hole will never actually be swallowed up into the black hole (though they will get arbitrarily close and arbitrarily crushed!). Since the collapse is never really complete, information about the objects is never entirely lost. The emitted radiation will thus contain 'information' about the infalling objects. This in some way can be seen to resolve the seeming information paradox, whereby black holes were seemingly able to 'swallow up' information and completely destroy it (whereas no other process in the universe appeared able to do so).

Re:I'm confused (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587479)

Good job explaining that. Thanks.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587703)

The process of black hole formation is generally discussed from the viewpoint of an infalling observer. However, in all physical settings it is the viewpoint of the asymptotic observer that is relevant. More concretely, if a black hole is formed in the Large Hadron Collider, it has to be observed by physicists sitting on the CERN campus.


If they do make a black hole in the Large Hadron Collider, what makes them think that the CERN campus won't fall in?

Re:I'm confused (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587781)

It won't be big enough to avoid evaporating.

Re:I'm confused (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588079)

If they do make a black hole in the Large Hadron Collider, what makes them think that the CERN campus won't fall in?


Because if the black hole was big enough to suck in the CERN campus with its gravity, the matter from which it was formed would have the same effect.

Re:I'm confused (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587799)

So the latest solution to the Hawking paradox is "black holes don't exist"?!

Re:I'm confused (4, Interesting)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587955)

So the latest solution to the Hawking paradox is "black holes don't exist"?!
In a strict sense, yes. However, the objects people typically think of as "black holes" would still exist. Let me be more clear.

To my understanding, the suggestion is that the collapsing matter will never create a true event horizon (a boundary from which nothing can ever escape). However this doesn't prevent the matter from collapsing to an arbitrarily high density and creating an increasingly large escape velocity. Think of a dense chunk of matter (but not infinitely dense). It will warp spacetime around it significantly, and it will bend the direction of light rays significantly. If a ray of light strays too close to the center of this quasi-singularity, it will get caught in a tight orbit. Now, the orbit won't be truly stable, and the light ray will, after some rotations around the gravity well, finally escape.

The denser the quasi-singularity is, the more rays will get trapped (temporarily) in these orbits, and the longer they will stay trapped. At a certain point, when light is being trapped for 10E80 year, the object could very sensibly be called a black hole. For all intents and purposes, infalling light does not escape. In principle, in a very long time the light may escape. Or, according to this new theory, the black hole may evaporate before actually forming (although this, too, will take a long time). But the massive curvature of spacetime will still lead to all the light-trapping and time-dilating effects normally predicted for black holes. This theory is merely suggesting that the containment is not absolute. Eventually, the stuff will escape. (Although for material objects, they will have been crushed and distorted beyond recognition. But at least in principle, the 'information' about them wasn't lost.)

Under the new theory, objects of near-infinite density still form, and still (in any practical sense) trap all incoming matter. However the question comes down to whether the singularity at the center is a true singularity with a true event horizon, or a perpetually-collapsing mass that has not quite yet reached the point of being a true black hole.

Re:I'm confused (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588253)

I like it, thanks for explaining, but what happens to matter that was within the event horizon before the black holes form? So if a bit of matter is the center around which a black hole is forming, surely that bit of matter will be within the event horizon and its information will be lost?

If you're feeling up to a challenge: how does matter get "evaporated" when EMR can't escape, why must information be preserved, and does this mean that after evaporating enough matter black holes would burst back out and let all the stuff they captured back out?

There's a bug then right there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587983)

If it would take an infinite amount of time for the object to reach black hole, then it would also take an infinite amount of time for it to exhibit the quantum effects.

My 50 cents is on BS.

Anyway, time has slowed down for a photon, and nobody is saying those never reach their goals, either.

Re:I'm confused (2, Interesting)

grimdawg (954902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588131)

What about for the infalling observer?

He's entered the black hole, and information has been lost to him. I can get my head around thinking that information is relative, but now the laws of the universe hold for some people but not others?

OTOH, if I was falling into a black hole, entropy's the least of my worries.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19588877)

...but now the laws of the universe hold for some people but not others?

Why does that surprise you?

Re:I'm confused (1)

TexVex (669445) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588171)

whereby black holes were seemingly able to 'swallow up' information and completely destroy it (whereas no other process in the universe appeared able to do so).
What about photons travelling in an uninterrupted path towards the edge of the observable universe? I assume they would be irretrievably lost in ever-expanding space, with anything they could possibly interact with receding from them faster than they move.

Re:I'm confused (2, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587571)

That is what I have always heard as well. I don't think that is the new part - probably just bad editorialism. It sounds like the new part is about the formation of the black hole itself - namely that to an outside observer, a star (or other large mass) will appear to take an infinite amount of time to collapse into a black hole and thus will appear to never form an event horizon.

Re:I'm confused (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588057)

Traditionally the idea is from an outside observer a object falling into a black hole never makes it as any information flowing from that object is slowed by gravity as it escapes. Until it cannot escape at the event horizon.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19588535)

This is also what happens when you die. You never experience the point of death, just draw closer and closer towards it in an endless crushing infinity of perception.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19588755)

It's all a bunch of hooey.

When something is approaching the event horizon, it never quite gets there are far as an outside observer is concerned. It does "vanish", but that's because the wavelengths get so freakishly long that it is practically undetectable. In other words, the object is infinitely red-shifted into oblivion.

Now, if you're the poor soul falling toward the event horizion, you actually do cross over. But if you could look back over your shoulder, the universe you just came from has ended. Game over. Really.

No information is really "lost", it's just "frozen" until the end of time to an outside observer. For the insider observer, the outside universe has sped up and run out. There's no going back.

I guess it's just as well. In the long run we're all dead, anyway.

I should probably RTFM, but... (1)

drawfour (791912) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587001)

'from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon and that the clock for the objects falling into the black hole appears to slow down to zero,'
Huh? Does that mean that since we're external viewers, no black hole that we "view" will have an event horizon, because it takes an infinite amount of time to form?

Re:I should probably RTFM, but... (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587025)

You should RTFM, this is clearly stated in section 2.1, "Black hole event horizon formation"!

Re:I should probably RTFM, but... (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587701)

...or that all the black holes in the universe had already established their event horizons before the laws of relativity became valid. In other words, before or very shortly after the big bang/blowup.

data recovery ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587007)

"We can recover data from hard disks that were crushed, burnt, smashed, or thrown in a black hole!"

Re:data recovery ad (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587099)

"...in 0 time at all!"

Experiment (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587009)

from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon

Nothing like an experiment to verify theories. And indeed, a quick trip to the DMV or the social security office confirms that it does seem to take an infinite amount of time for any event to occur, and that the clock seems to stop locally.

See? no need for black holes.

Re:Experiment (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587341)

from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon

Nothing like an experiment to verify theories. And indeed, a quick trip to the DMV or the social security office confirms that it does seem to take an infinite amount of time for any event to occur, and that the clock seems to stop locally.

See? no need for black holes.
Yeah, but time, from the perspective of outside said offices, seems to speed up such that right after leaving the DMV it's time to go back again. This applies for jury duty, as well. I feel a GUT coming on...

My Name is Feces ...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587051)

Promounced 'FECKese' for those who were wondering...

EOL

If an event horizon takes infinite amout of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587063)

If an event horizon takes an infinite amout of time to form what are all these things we think are black holes? We think we see them sucking matter and emitting jets. How did they get their event horizons? Is the Universe infinitely old? Are they?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am not an astrophysicst.

Hawking's solution (5, Informative)

EvilGrin5000 (951851) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587105)

Anyone know what happened to Hawking's proposal for information loss?

Basically what Hawking said (in a late essay entry in a science conference) was that Black Holes do 'digest' information and therefore you have information loss, however (and this is where his proposal was a bit controversial) Hawking suggested that the conglomeration of parallel universes will have a particular Black Hole present in one, and the same Black Hole missing in another, therefore the TOTAL information for ALL Universes, is retained.

Here's a link to Hawking's Black Hole Paradox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_informatio n_paradox [wikipedia.org]

And from the wiki article, here's the line I'm mentioning in my post:

"...On October 28, 2006, The Discovery Channel aired a show called "The Hawking Paradox". The show explained Hawking's conclusion that one must look at the universe as a whole, and that information lost in black holes is saved in parallel universes where no black holes exist."

It seems that this new solution is completely disregarding Hawking's proposal and replacing it with a new, stretched solution.

Re:Hawking's solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587265)

You mean "it seems that the new solution follows from plain general relativity, an upgrade from Hawking's proposal which required that we assume the existence of parallel universes."

Re:Hawking's solution (1)

emptybody (12341) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587973)

I have been listening to the Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe.
(obligitory amazon link -> Einstein: His Life and Universe [amazon.com] )

This new theory fits easily.
CD7 tracks 6 and 7 talk about information transforming based on frame of refere4nce but still staying the same.
CD9 track 2 starts to bring up descriptions of the universe and time and defines a black hole and describes time dialation. the author makes a callout to the 60s and Hawking.
CD9 track 3 goes into some detail of how Einsteins relativity theory fits so well.

Re:Hawking's solution (2, Interesting)

TexVex (669445) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587935)

Parallel universes that only exist on paper or in the minds of quantum physicists are such a copout. You can't detect them, measure them, interact with them, or otherwise find any way to prove they exist, yet some people believe in them anyway. Kinda like God.

Re:Hawking's solution (1)

SoCalEd (842421) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588017)

Can a parallel universe which is missing a black hole here and there, and therefore missing all of the information which ever dumped into them, really be said to be parallel? Maybe I can find a way to sing that to the tune of Eric The Half A Bee...

Re:Hawking's solution (1)

TexVex (669445) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588441)

Can a parallel universe which is missing a black hole here and there, and therefore missing all of the information which ever dumped into them, really be said to be parallel?
I've got it! The mass from the missing black holes can be found in the goatees on all the evil parallel twins.

Re:Hawking's solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587951)

The show explained Hawking's conclusion that one must look at the universe as a whole, and that information lost in black holes is saved in parallel universes where no black holes exist

That doesn't cut it though... if you want to take all of the "parallel universes" as a whole, then there must also be a second copy of that information in the "parallel universe", so when it's destroyed in our universe, it goes from having two copies of the information to one copy. Or is he saying that as long as in some parallel dimension there is still at least one copy of the information remaining, it's fine to destroy it willy-nilly? How does the information know it's the last remaining copy, and what happens if the last surviving copy of the information then falls into a completely different black hole that only existed in that universe? Or is this interpretation entirely wrong, and when the information falls into our black hole, it appears in another parallel universe where it did not exist at all prior to that event?

Frankly, Hawking's parallel universe explanation is a bit harder to swallow than the infinite time compression proposition, which itself seems to be a special-relativity flavor of Zeno's paradox.

Re:Hawking's solution (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588259)

You're making it harder than it needs to be. The idea with that sort of parallel universe is that it's something our universe doesn't normally interact with, but is part of the same physics and thermodynamic accounting. Since the universes don't interact other than inside black holes, we normally consider energy, entropy, etc, to be conserved purely within our own observable universe. Inside the black holes, the idea goes, energy/information/entropy can be exchanged between the universes. Once that interaction takes place, each individual universe no longer needs to conserve these thermodynamic quantities, but anything "missing" from one must appear in the other.

Basically, in this view, thermodynamics is still right. Information/entropy is conserved. However, what we think of as the universe is not the whole system, so it can appear that it's leaving our universe by going to a mostly disconnected other universe.

Anyway, there are lots of ideas about this sort of thing with all sorts of wrinkles. They're all pretty distasteful scientifically unless we find a way to probe these other universes. From reading the article (but not the whole paper), this approach would be much more satisfying if it stands up, since it might be testable given our current physics. Not testable by waiting for infinity, of course, but since it doesn't rely on some unknown physics connecting us to the alternate universe, we can work out its predictions using what we know already. That may suggest experiments to be done in finite time that would test the theory.

Larry's back at it, but there is no black hole (1)

Laxator2 (973549) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587115)

I looked at the abstract of the actual paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0609024 [arxiv.org] and it looks like they discuss a case where the black hole does not really form, the domain wall that collapses in their model evaporates and a singularity does not form. This does not quite address the case of dropping an object into an already-formed black hole, but it sounds good for a press release, especially since the neighbors at Fermilab have made a habit of it.

They're doing it wrong (4, Funny)

realmolo (574068) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587123)

A Slashdotter would realize that if you don't want to see any information, you need to view the event horizon with a threshold of -1.
 

Re:They're doing it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587647)

You can pretty much read the comments at +5 for any article filed under Politics and still see no information.

Duh? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587149)

...what is controversial about the new finding is that 'from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon and that the clock for the objects falling into the black hole appears to slow down to zero,'

Not to be a smartass, but isn't that a no-brainer? I always figured that was the case. Objects never cross an event horizon (from perspective of the rest of the universe) in the same way nothing ever accelerates to the speed of light. Time/space distortion stops it from happening.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587757)

So what's the position as a function of time for an object falling toward an event horizon 1 light-year away, from an external viewer's point? We agree that initally the object will pick up speed. What are you saying:

- the object will start to slow down (hard to believe since it's getting closer and closer to something massive), or
- the event horizon wasn't 1 light-year away to start with but is always infinitely far away?

Re:Duh? (1)

ShadeOfBlue (851882) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587783)

I too came to that conclusion in high school. Since time slows to a stop at a singularity (as viewed from an external observer), it seems nothing should ever completely fall into a blackhole, and similarly, the components of a collapsing star should never quite shrink to zero size. Of course, this isn't a rigorous argument, I suppose to be precise you'd really need to look at the rates of change. It's possible this thinking is making a mistake similar to what one finds in Zeno's paradoxes.

If, however, this reasoning is correct, it seems like the most elegant solution to the problem of singularities and event horizons. In no finite amount of time can you generate a singularity, and similarly no information can pass behind an event horizon in a finite amount of time, so why worry about it?

Poopoo on professional physicists if this is true and they'd just never thought of it before.

Re:Duh? (2, Insightful)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588123)

It's well-established that, if you only consider relativistic effects, a black hole will never form. What this paper does is demonstrate that if you take quantum effects into account, it's still true.

Re:Duh? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588159)

Well, you can say Apples fall to the ground, to to prove why and how are different matter.
So while saying "If I drop this apple it will fall" is a D'uh, WHy and how are for more complex.

Zeno of Elea... (2, Interesting)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587155)

would be proud. [wikipedia.org]

Finally, The Weapons of Mass Destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587241)


can be found here [whitehouse.org] .

Cheers,
Donald Metro

Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (2, Insightful)

DJ_Adequate (699393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587281)

I'm sure it's not that simple, but that sure seems like what the article is saying. Black Holes would take infinitely long to form, so we'll never see one form, so no information will be lost. It sure doesn't seem to add up to me, since I thought there was pretty good evidence for black holes--and the universe hasn't existed for an infinitely long time. Still, when has quantum stuff ever made sense?

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

iMySti (863056) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587607)

It says it takes an infinite time for the EH to form, so perhaps we see BHs in a state that is not their fully evolved form, but still what we have observed and defined them as. Its like when you find a Pokemon, and its pretty Kickass (say a Machop) but later you find out it actually evolves into a Machoke which is even stronger and more kickass. Still, the Machop's name is Kickass.

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587713)

Still, when has quantum stuff ever made sense?
Alone, it makes sense in many cases. With gravity, never. With alcohol, always.

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587765)

Since when can you observe the event horizon? Is the question even meaningful? You get Hawking radiation from the region in space immediately outside of the event horizon.

I love theory. But I value experimental observation even more. We don't have any nearby black holes that we know of, but there is the rather massive black hole in the center of the galaxy and a stellar mass black hole in Scorpius X1. VLBI observation and gamma-ray observation allow us to observe rather close to the event horizon, but at astronomical distances we are highly unlikely to conduct observations within epsilon of an event horizon.

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

DJ_Adequate (699393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587887)

I've been reading some more and found this. Sure enough, they have eliminated black holes.

They find that the gravity of the collapsing mass starts to disrupt the quantum vacuum, generating what they call "pre-Hawking" radiation. Losing that radiation reduces the total mass-energy of the object - so that it never gets dense enough to form an event horizon and a true black hole. "There are no such things", Vachaspati told New Scientist. "There are only stars going toward being a black hole but not getting there."
According to the author of this paper, that thing in the center of the galaxy is not a black hole--just a black star, always collapsing but never collapsed. From this article http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn12089-do-b lack-holes-really-exist.html [newscientist.com] it seems like other scientists are skeptical about this as well.

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588081)

If it acts like a black hole outside of a radius = black hole radius *(1 + epsilon) where epsilon is relatively small, does anyone care? We should be able to observe general relativistic strong field effects relatively soon. This might allow falsification if the range of the effect is large enough. If this theory doesn't affect those results, it is likely more of a semantic issue than a physical issue with observable effects.

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588055)

What we see in the centers of galaxies might not be black holes, but "almost" black holes--massive conglomerations of mass frozen in time, in the process of forming black holes which will never (in finite time) be complete.

Re:Eliminating Black Holes Eliminates Paradox (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588289)

Well, if this theory is true, that a black hole never completely collapses until the end of time, it means that we can see the event horizon of a black hole, but the hole part never forms until the end of the universe. The further we look into a black hole, the further into the future we look, because a black hole is a warping of time. And the center of it, the black hole part, exists infinitely into the future, or the end of time.

Like I said in this other post [slashdot.org] , a black hole is not a thing that warps time and space, it *is* a warping of time-space. And because it warps matter-time-space to an infinite density, it takes an infinitely long time to do so. Sort of like how it takes an infinite amount of energy and time to reach C, the speed of light. It's because when you do reach the speed of light, you have reached the fastest speed, so nothing appears to be moving, because nothing can move faster than the speed of light, which you are now moving at.

IANAP, so feel free to chime in and correct me.

Quote from article (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587285)

"It's complicated and very complex," noted the researchers

What an understatement.

Complicated and complex (1)

DJ_Adequate (699393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587325)

Well, that makes it difficult. If it was just one or the other, maybe I could understand it. But if it's complicated and complex...
We English majors may not know math, but we can spot redundancy at least.

Re:Complicated and complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19588463)

There have been times when I, as a mathematician, have used both complex and complicated to describe something non-redundantly. Depending on context, the word complex might have a very specific mathematical meaning (e.g., complex systems or even complex numbers). In these cases, the complex math might be easy or not-so-easy to understand. For these attributes, one often resorts to using the terms "simple" or "complicated" (since complex is already taken), respectively.


I am not claiming that this is what happened in this case. In fact I have met Tanmay, and (as his first language is not English) this seems a likely mistake for him to make.

Rename 'Black holes' to 'Wholes' (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587337)

Then everything is complete and the Universe is in harmony. Problem solved.

Prrof this can't be valid (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587531)

'from an external viewer's point it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon and that the clock for the objects falling into the black hole appears to slow down to zero,' ...so surely if it takes an infinite amount of time to form an event horizon then we shouldn't have seen any yet. But we have.

No... (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587725)

we haven't (seen any black holes). You can't "see" a black hole (that's why they're named as they are). We have observed the effects of things which match our expectation of the effects a black hole would cause. I assume the authors of this paper explain how their black-hole-like-object-which-isn't-a-black-hole can cause the same effects.

Re:No... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588749)

you're missing my point.
By 'see' I don't mean visibly. I mean that anything that takes an infinite amount of time to form will therefore never completely form, so therefore shouldn't ever exist in its entirety, yet black holes have been proven to have complete event horizons.

Re:Prrof this can't be valid (2, Interesting)

grikdog (697841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588887)

Achilles vs. the Tortoise all over again?

new scientist article (3, Informative)

mrpeebles (853978) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587533)

There is an article about this same thing in new scientist
http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn12089-do-b lack-holes-really-exist.html [newscientist.com]
It quotes 't Hooft as claiming that "The process he describes can in no way produce enough radiation to make a black hole disappear as quickly as he is suggesting." So I am skeptical.

Divide by zero error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587589)

Black holes are the 3d spatial equivalent of zero.

f(x) = 1/x
f(1) = 1
f(100) = 0.01 ...
f(oo) = 0?

All this solution is saying is that like 1/x as x->infinity approaches but never equals zero, information approaches but never enters a black hole. So if you throw something into a black hole what really happens is that it basically gets stuck approaching the event horizon but never reaches it.

This means there could be lopsided black holes... where more mass had gotten 'stuck' on one part of the even horizon than other parts. If you are what is 'thrown' into the black hole then you get to find out what happens at the end of the universe.

black holes have no hair... (3, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587961)

This means there could be lopsided black holes...

No. Black holes aren't lopsided [wikipedia.org]

nice but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587601)

"..clock for the objects falling into the black hole appears to slow down to zero.."
Is that BEFORE their bodies are torn into "singularity" or after?

I see ... (2, Funny)

spotlight2k3 (652521) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587683)

So we finally have a possible answer to why we see so many dupes.
1. They aren't dupes and they don't exist because they never form ....
2. they are dupes but come from another universe where they have been deleted and saved here....

Hawking Radiation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587775)

Does anyone know how this paper deals with Hawking radiation.

I just tested the theory (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 6 years ago | (#19587823)

Didnt have any fancy equipment, just a neon glow stick.
Threw it into a couple of normal holes first.
Knew when it had arrived due to the fact i could see it.
The problem with the black hole was that it seemed moving slower and slower as it got closer to the event horizon, not even getting there.
Obviosly you cant throw anything into black holes. Or would you prefer to believe people telling you that light moves slower away from the black the closer you get to the event horizon?

But ive got an information loss problem of my own.
I got this neat random number generator with a lcd display that generates a random number every second.
Ever since i placed in inside a black box i dont know what number it displays.
Anyone know how to find out what number it displays without opening the box?

Re:I just tested the theory (1)

norton_I (64015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588121)

But ive got an information loss problem of my own.
I got this neat random number generator with a lcd display that generates a random number every second.
Ever since i placed in inside a black box i dont know what number it displays.
Anyone know how to find out what number it displays without opening the box?


Any time we try to look at such things at the microscopic level. the history of which random numbers were displayed is recorded somewhere (often many places), for instance in the motional states of the atoms that make up the box and lcd (aka heat). It is the same "paradox" as exists in classical mechanics vs. statistical mechanics -- individual interactions are always reversable via CPT symmetry. Only when you blur things enough you can't see the individual interactions do you get properties like temperature.

The difference is that a particle falling into a black hole and being emitted as hawking radiation appears to be fundamentally non-unitary (quantum mechanical speak for non-reversable / information losing). Many people find it odd, and unlikely that every process in the universe is unitary except around black holes. Hence attempts to find alternative theories.

No conclusive answer will be found until we come up with a unified theory of quantum gravity and experimentally verify it. However, examining the weird boundaries between the quantum world and GR will help us understand what we are looking for in a unified theory.

Re:I just tested the theory (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 6 years ago | (#19588303)

The difference is that a particle falling into a black hole and being emitted as hawking radiation appears to be fundamentally non-unitary (quantum mechanical speak for non-reversable / information losing). Many people find it odd, and unlikely that every process in the universe is unitary except around black holes. Hence attempts to find alternative theories.
Last time i read about Hawking radiation this effect was attributed to "Paarbildung" (dont know the english term, the quantum machanical effect that causes a particle and an anti-particle to spontanously appear, and usually destroy themselves shortly after). When this happens at the event horizon its possible for one particle to get caught in the black hole while the other escapes.
Thus i still cant see how the Hawking radiation directly relates to anything INSIDE the black hole (except maybe for the fact that a corresponding anti-particle will have to be inside the black hole).

Re:I just tested the theory (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588713)

42 of course.

Is that all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19587865)

I figured this out as a child, and even how have been shaking my head at all of these blackhole revelations. It there is infinite gravity at the center of a tootsie roll then there will be infinite time dialation... therefore, nothing has ever been "swallowed" by a blackhole and nothing ever will.

I'll take my Nobel Prize on the way out, thanks!

The Master will be pleased to find out... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19588881)

That he did survive because his information was stored in the Galifreyian Mainframe known as the "Eye of Harmony" which we all know is a Black Hole that the Timelords control. Good thing we found out about this before this weekend because the Master is back and all the nerds who worry about such details will be happy to know that the Master's Information survived and you we won't see posts about "The Master Couldn't have survived a Black Hole cause i live in my mom's basement" being plastered all over these internets tubes.

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