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The Information Paradox and String Theory

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The Information Paradox is a sharp and profound problem, which poses a strong consistency challenge for any quantum theory of gravity, and which has recently received much renewed interest. The study of black hole microstates in string theory offers the potential to resolve this paradox. Of particular interest are BPS and near-BPS D1-D5-P bound states in string theory, which can be studied holographically. I will first review the Information Paradox, and the status of our knowledge of three-charge black hole microstates. I will then present work which identifies the CFT description of a class of BPS and non-BPS D1-D5-P supergravity solutions, including both regular solutions and solutions with conical defects. The CFT states exhibit the important feature that the momentum charge is fractionated. I will then describe recent work on constructing more general classes of black hole microstate geometries which are dual to CFT states involving fractionated momentum. I will close with a discussion of the physics of an observer falling into a black hole.

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

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