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The black hole information paradox: origin and proposed resolution

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Hawking has discovered more than 40 years ago that black holes (BH’s) evaporate. Ever since, ideas about how they evaporate have been a source of constant interest and controversy. In Hawking’s model, the process of BH evaporation respects the Einstein equivalence principle but it is not unitary. Page has proposed a model of unitary evaporation. However, this class of models was recently found to be incompatible with the equivalence principle. After reviewing this state of affairs, I will argue that the origin for many of the difficulties is that BH’s are treated as geometric, infinite mass objects and thus their quantum fluctuations are completely ignored. I will present a model of how finite mass BH’s evaporate and outline how both unitarity and the equivalence principle can be respected. The model suggest that the interior of the BH is a highly quantum bound state.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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