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danAlwyn

- 20

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My friends and I were speculating a while back about what would happen if nanoscopic black holes were produced (as possibly theorized) in the first run of the LHC, and Hawking radiation didn't work right, so the black holes stuck around for a while. The question came up about whether such a black hole could swallow an electron. Classically it could not, since the electron is a fundamental particle and the radius of the black holes is much, much smaller than the radius of the electron. Someone pointed out that the electron is a point particle in quanum mechanics, but that still makes sense because the wave function of an electron is sufficiently dispersed that it would be larger than the black hole. Even if it were somehow "trapped", it should be able to tunnel out immediately.

However, if a black hole eats quantum numbers, then this might not be true. An electron would go in, and something else might be able to pop out. I know that the setup is totally unrealistice, but does anybody know of any proposed tests for whether quantum numbers are conserved by black holes (I think it might be testable at the LHC, but I can't think of how)? Where would I look to find a brief explanation of the current state of theory on this subject?

Thanks,

-dA