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I Information for black hole region in surface surrounding it

  1. Jul 2, 2017 #1
    At one point I read there was the concern that a black hole could lose bits of information. Then a theory arose that showed that all the bits in a black hole were to be found on the surface of the black hole. Thus if there were let's say 1000 particles in a black hole each of which could be described by 3 states, the surface of the black hole would have all the bits that this counted up to so that information bits could never be lost. What is not clear to me is how is it that the surface has anything other than the total number of bits of information - it has no detail on them. It seems to me that if I had a spreadsheet for the 1000 particles in the black hole and all their states at an instant in time and it occupied x number of cells - each cell being a bit - that the surface might tell me I had x bits but I don't see how that would tell me very much about how they bits were arranged. So if I had information about each particle in the black hole, it's position and momentum - 3 bits - the surface would tell me I had 3000 bits of information in the black hole but not anything about what those were - what particles, what positions, what momenta. It seems to me that something has been lost in translation. If anybody can clear this up, where I might be on the wrong track it would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2017 #2
    I imagine black hole surface fluctuations have transient information encoded about its contents similar to how ocean surface waves contain information about a submarine traveling beneath it.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  4. Jul 2, 2017 #3
    Thanks. However I would like more detail/less analogy. The question is straightforward - might be completely nonsensical to someone in the field or not answerable currently - I will take either. So in summary 3000 bits of information in black hole - surface confirms the total number of bits. Does it say anything else about those bits other than agreeing with total number? If so how does it say or it how do we make it say it?

    Hopefully someone will be able to assist in my understanding of this.
  5. Jul 2, 2017 #4
    I'm not a scientist, but I spend a fair amount of time/effort trying to learn how this stuff works heuristically, so unfortunately analogies is all I have, hopefully someone else will chime in with more authoritative info.
    I don't believe this is how black hole information works; my understanding (to use another analogy) is it's like listening to a record play through instead of looking at the music on paper.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  6. Jul 2, 2017 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Please give a specific reference. This is a complex topic (in fact I'm not sure it can be usefully discussed even at the "I" level; it really is an "A" level topic), and is still an open area of research, so to have a good basis for discussion at all, we need to start with a valid reference.
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