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Information Encoding in Quantum Gravity and the Black Hole Information Paradox

Objective

LIGO’s detection of merging black holes was a spectacular confirmation of general relativity (GR), yet it remains an open question whether black holes obey the same rules of quantum mechanics (QM) as all other known objects in the universe. Black holes are objects in GR which are known to have a vast entropy, but when QM is applied they evaporate by emission of Hawking radiation which carries no information about their microstates - this is the black hole information loss paradox which has evaded a resolution for over 40 years. The holographic AdS/CFT duality has provided indirect evidence that black holes are quantum mechanical systems that do not destroy information but the arguments are limited in scope to highly charged and/or spinning black holes and do not explain the gravitational dynamics near the horizon. To resolve the information paradox we need a better understanding of the information encoding, storage and flow between the horizon and the far asymptotic region where Hawking radiation escapes to, and more generally of how information is encoded in quantum gravity in asymptotically flat Minkowski spacetime. Achieving this is the overarching goal of this proposal. The novel research I propose combines two emergent ideas which could provide a paradigm changing picture of how black holes encode information: One is based on a thorough understanding of subtle long-distance effects in asymptotically flat spacetimes which give rise to “soft hair” and a horizon memory for black holes. The other is based on a mechanism in string theory, the most promising quantum completion of Einstein's theory of GR, which gives rise to horizon-scale microstructure, known as “fuzzballs”. The ground-breaking nature of this proposal is to bridge these two different approaches to develop a powerful new programme for solving the information paradox.
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Host institution

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

Address

Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris

France

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 1 497 340

Beneficiaries (1)

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CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 1 497 340

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 852386

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2020

  • End date

    31 August 2025

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 497 340

  • EU contribution

    € 1 497 340

Hosted by:

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France