CAP Lecture: The Black Hole Information Loss Problem: Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Event Details

  • Speaker(s): Gabor Kunstatter
  • Date:
  • Time: 4:00 PM
  • Location: MacN 113
Gabor Kunstatter
Gabor Kunstatter - CAP 2015 Guest Speaker

Abstract

There is substantial evidence that black holes exist in binary star systems and at the center of most galaxies, including our own. Hawking's famous calculation of the mid 1970's proved that black holes evaporate by emitting radiation that does not contain any information about the state of the matter that formed the black hole. This leads to one of the deepest conundra of modern theoretical physics: what happens to this information once the evaporation is complete? Is it lost forever to the outside world or does it somehow emerge at the final stages of evaporation?

After a brief review of black holes and the evidence for their existence, I will describe in more detail the nature of the black hole information loss paradox. I will then list several proposed resolutions. Finally I will offer a different, more mundane solution to the problem based on the fact that the singularity which is thought to lurk at the center of all black holes and lies at the heart of the conundrum cannot be realized in nature. I will use a simple phenomenological model to argue that taming the singularity resolves the conundrum by allowing the information to emerge at the end of the evaporation process.

Speaker's Biography

Gabor Kunstatter is a well-known Canadian theoretical physicist who has done significant work on Black Holes and Quantum Gravity. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto. He did postdoctoral work at the Imperial College of London and was a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before becoming a professor of Physics at the University of Winnipeg. Gabor is a recent past President of the Canadian Association of Physicists.

Physics Undergraduate Scholarship Awards and Reception

The Physics Undergraduate Scholarship Awards will be presented prior to the lecture. The award ceremony, CAP Lecture, and photos will be followed by a reception in MacNaughton 318. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please RVSP to physfin@uoguelph.ca by Wednesday February 25th.