(ORDO NEWS) — The seemingly unsolvable paradox of the black hole, first proposed by physicist Stephen Hawking, can finally be solved with the help of wormholes, in theory allowing travel through space-time.
The black hole information paradox
In the 1970s, Hawking discovered that black holes weren’t exactly “black”, but at first he didn’t realize what a gigantic problem he was creating.
Before his discovery, physicists assumed that black holes were extremely simple. Of course, all sorts of complex things fell into them, but black holes locked up all this information so that no one could ever access it again.
But Hawking discovered that black holes emit radiation and can eventually evaporate completely in a process now known as Hawking radiation.
But this radiation in itself does not carry any information. However, by definition, a black hole’s event horizon prevents information from escaping. So, the question is: when the black hole finally evaporates and disappears from the universe, where will all the information hidden in it go?
Scientists have suggested that this paradox can be solved using the real “cheat code” of the universe: wormholes, or through passages through space-time.
“A wormhole connects the inside of a black hole and the outside radiation like a bridge,” explained Kanato Goto, a theoretical physicist from the Japanese interdisciplinary theoretical and mathematical sciences program RIKEN.
According to Gotō theory , a second surface appears inside a black hole’s event horizon, a boundary beyond which nothing can go. Threads from the wormhole connect this surface to the outside world, weaving information between the interior of the black hole and the radiation leaks at its edges.
Where does information go?
The first ever image of a black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87
One of the possible outcomes is that information can still be destroyed, which contradicts all the tenets of modern physics. For example, if information can be lost, then you will not be able to reconstruct the past from present events or predict future events – causal relationships are violated.
Of course, this variant of the development of events seems disputable to many scientists. Instead, most physicists are trying to resolve this paradox by trying to come up with any way information could escape a black hole via Hawking radiation.
Thus, when the black hole disappears, information will still be present in the universe. In any case, the description of this process will require mankind to develop a new field of physics.
Tale of two entropies
In 1992, physicist Don Page, a former graduate student of Hawking, looked at the problem of the information paradox differently. He began by studying quantum entanglement, in which the fates of distant particles are linked despite their position in spacetime.
This entanglement acts as a quantum mechanical link between Hawking radiation and the black hole itself. Page measured the degree of entanglement by calculating the “entanglement entropy”, which is a measure of the amount of information contained in entangled Hawking radiation.
In Hawking’s original calculations, no information can escape from a black hole, and therefore the entropy of entanglement always increases until the black hole finally disappears.
But Page found that if black holes do release information, the entropy of entanglement will only rise to the point where the hole is halfway through its life cycle.
Then, when that threshold is crossed, enough information will be returned to the world so that the entropy begins to decrease and eventually returns to the original zero after the black hole has completely dissipated.
If Page’s calculations are correct, this suggests that a tipping point occurs in the middle of a black hole’s life. Although Page’s work did not resolve the information paradox, it gave physicists a very curious bud to explore.
What is a wormhole, really?
Not so long ago, several groups of scientists set out to find out how complex the structure of space-time can be near the event horizon. They wanted to study it down to a microscopic scale in order to “catch” a potential loophole through which information could leak back into space.
Their work led to two surprising results. It turned out that there are actually a lot of wormholes – holes in the fabric of space-time. These wormholes appeared to connect the quantum extreme surface to the outside of the black hole, allowing information to bypass the event horizon and be released as Hawking radiation.
But this work has only been applied to very simplified, “toy” models (such as one-dimensional versions of black holes). In Goto’s new work, the same result has been applied to more realistic scenarios, a big step forward bringing the model closer to reality.
However, physicists still have a lot of questions. First, it is not yet clear whether mathematical wormholes are the same wormholes that we consider the shortest path in time and space.
The very concept of a “wormhole” is so deeply rooted in mathematics that it is difficult to determine its physical meaning. On the one hand, there may be literal “wormholes” in the universe, that is, channels that emerge from a slowly evaporating black hole, like in some science fiction movie.
Or the conditional “wormhole” may simply be a sign that the space-time near the black hole is non-local, and therefore two quantum entangled particles do not need to be in causal contact in order to influence each other.
Well, perhaps the most important problem is that although physicists have identified a possible mechanism for resolving the paradox, they do not know how it actually works. There is no known process that actually does the job of collecting the information inside a black hole and encoding it into Hawking radiation.
In other words, physicists have blazed a possible path to solve the information paradox, but they haven’t found a way to build hypothetical trucks that could travel that path.
Contact us: [email protected]