Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, Black Holes, General Astronomy > Curtains Down For The Black Hole Firewall Paradox: Making Gravity Safe For Einstein Again

Curtains Down For The Black Hole Firewall Paradox: Making Gravity Safe For Einstein Again


Research by scientists at the University of York has revealed new insights into the life and death of black holes.

Their findings dispel the so-called firewall paradox which shocked the physics community when it was announced in 2012 since its predictions about large black holes contradicted Einstein’s crowning achievement – the theory of general relativity. Those results suggested that anyone falling into a black hole would be burned up as they crossed its edge – the so-called event horizon.

Now Professor Sam Braunstein and Dr Stefano Pirandola have extinguished the fire. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, they invoke quantum information theory, a modern branch of quantum mechanics that treats light and atoms as carriers of information. The key insight from quantum mechanics is the existence of `spooky’ quantum entanglement across a black hole’s event horizon.

Professor Braunstein says: “Quantum mechanics shows that entanglement can exist across the event horizon, between particles inside and outside the black hole. But should this entanglement ever vanish, a barrier of energetic particles would be created: an energetic curtain (or firewall) would descend around the horizon of the black hole. … Our results not only back up Einstein’s theory of gravity, but also point to quantum information theory as a powerful tool for disentangling the deep mysteries of the Universe.”

Full Story: http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2013/research/black-hole-firewall/

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