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The Hawking radiation and information paradox

  1. May 14, 2014 #1
    Here is my understanding, please correct me if I made any mistake

    Quantum physics theory suggests that information (the wave function, state, etc.) cannot be destroyed. All matters fall into a black hole will not be able to escape, which means all information of these particles stay inside the black hole. Virtual particles-antiparticle pairs are created under uncertainty principle, the antiparticle of the pair fall into the black hole while the normal one escapes (Hawking radiation), the antiparticle annihilate with the normal particle inside the black hole, eventually the black hole evaporates, all information inside is gone. It contradicts the quantum physics theory.

    I'm not sure if there is any mistake in my understanding.

    Here is what I don't understand

    1 Why only the antiparticle of the virtual pair falls into the black hole while the normal one escapes?

    2 Does the annihilation requires the normal particles somehow "match" the properties of the antiparticle? In another word, the virtual antiparticle can annihilate with any particles in the black hole or only those which have the same properties as the virtual normal particle? (the other particle of the virtual pair)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2014 #2


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    Any particle [or photon] that escapes the event horizon has positive energy. The popular explanation you noted is merely an analogy to convey the essence of a mathematically complex quantum process, and gives rise to this very natural question. The easy part is it is quite natural to assume any energy that escapes the event horizon must be subtracted from the black hole mass.
  4. May 23, 2014 #3
    I might be completely wrong about this but it is my belief that information cannot be destroyed, even in the event of black hole evaporation.

    The pure act of information being destroyed is acknowledging that said information existed at a certain point in space-time. Therefore, even if information were to be destroyed at a certain point, it would still be present from the moment it was 'created' up until the last moment before it was destroyed.

    Now, unless we are suddenly able to travel through time and access said information, it would indeed be lost to us starting from the moment of its destruction.
  5. May 24, 2014 #4
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