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Wave/Particle duality in Blackhole paradox?

  1. Mar 17, 2015 #1
    Alrighty, this is my second attempt at this thread, as my first was removed due to speculating theories so i will try to keep this short and clear.

    Is it possible to apply the concept of Wave/Particle duality to explain the event horizon paradox in which a particle can cross the horizon in a finite amount of time while an outside observer, in an infinite amount of time, will never see the particle cross. I would like to clarify that I'm not theorizing, I'm simply wondering whether my thoughts are off based relative to reality. So with that said, here is a brief explanation of what I am under the impression of. As the particle approaches the black hole and it is crushed down to the plank constant, could the possibility occur in which the particle itself slips across the event horizon while the wave form of the particle propagates around the black hole never crossing the horizon itself. Thus, as in the hologram theory (not my theory, a theory highly regarded amongst physicist atleast to my knowledge) , the wave would represent the particle outside the black hole while the particle itself would reside inside. Once again I'm not intentionally (if at all) speculating theories, i just want to know if this application of actual physical concepts can occur within the constraints of what we know so far. In other words.. how bad do i not know what I'm talking about?
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2015 #2
    First of all, and interesting approach although I cannot confirm it myself as I'm not an expert in the area at hand.

    However, what I don't understand is why speculating in this sense would be considered as something bad. Speculating is the very fuel of science as it is based on curiosity, curiosity being the main force behind scientific breakthrough. So, why would the Physics Forum condemn threads like these? Feels like it defeats the purpose of the website...
  4. Mar 17, 2015 #3
    I understand the rule, without it the forum would be over run with speculative theory that might as well be science fiction, but I'm just asking if im thinking right. As in, am i missing something in my understanding the concepts. Just the same, still love the forum, though i might end up banned sooner or later. (hopefully not.)
  5. Mar 17, 2015 #4
    I hope i am correct in pointing out that there may be two misconceptions in this first part of your post.

    The first i will address by pointing you to This Thread post #28 should give you a fairly nuanced description of why we can infer that the particle does infact cross the event horizon.

    The second would be the common misconception that wave/particle duality is still really something we hold onto. The two theories you need to look at are Quantum mechanics (For an understanding of why the wave/particle description is a redundant and repeated misconception, as it describes fundamental particles as having one consistent description as opposed to two seperate ones) and General Relativity (to give an understanding of black holes) i found Taylor and Wheelers 'introduction to general relativity' a fairly useful guide to black holes.

    I'm not sure where you got this idea, if you could provide a source that says this that would be great but at first glance this seems to be a misunderstanding that the particle somehow splits into a particle and a wave and one falls into the event horizon and the other doesn't, which as far as i'm aware, is simply not compatible with current theories. I'll once again point you to the fact that wave/particle duality isn't something we hold onto anymore.

    Also, i don't know where you got the idea that the holographic principle is highly regarded amongst physicists, since it is a description in string theory relating to a property resulting from quantum gravity, with the former being an untested hypothesis and the latter being a subset of that untested hypothesis. We absolutely do not have a consistent theory of quantum gravity available.

    When you try to reconcile the idea of quantized particles (quantum mechanics) and black holes (General relativity) you are asking for a theory that consistently describes both within the same framework. There have been many noteworthy attempts but none are widely accepted and most of the expected resultant ideas (such as the holographic principle) are just advanced speculations at the moment.
  6. Mar 17, 2015 #5
    Thank you. I have a lot to look in to.
  7. Mar 17, 2015 #6
    As for the particle splitting into two state, that was how i visualized the duality (which apparently is not longer held on to) being effected by my understanding of a black-hole. That is probably where the admin assumed i was speculating which i guess unintentionally i was.
  8. Mar 17, 2015 #7
    As a long time browser of various science forums, i can give you a brief answer to this line of reasoning.

    Firstly, in any other science forum without strict rules on speculation any thread grounded in scientific rigor is quickly derailed into philosophising and speculation. It creates a very unproductive environment for anyone wanting to disseminate any relevant information pertinent to their understanding of the subject.

    This is exacerbated for the layman who would come to that forum seeking information on somewhat difficult to grasp subjects. If the framework of scientific rigor was not followed then it would be impossible for the layman to seperate mere speculation from factual answers since he/she is none the wiser.

    This is quite literally the foundation of all the popular misconceptions of scientific theories and the basis for most pseudoscience.
  9. Mar 17, 2015 #8
    This is only a hunch, but if you google "Quantum entanglement" i think you may be feeding on a confabulation of the idea of wave/particle duality and the concept of quantum entanglement. Which, in their basic popularisations could quite possibly seem to be the same thing.
  10. Mar 17, 2015 #9
    To expand on my earlier answer to your question.

    As this is my first attempt to answer a thread since i joined this forum, i hope that i am not mistaken in my understanding. (this is my caveat)

    The people who are usually doing the speculation, are most often those with little to no knowledge of the science they speak about other than popularisations. While questions on currently accepted theories are obviously perfectly acceptable. When it comes to things like String theory and Quantum gravity, we are talking about ideas that are not accepted as fact within the scientific community and popularisations of these theories as a way of trying to educate the public on the progression of our scientific knowledge is often a hiderance as much as it attempts to generate interest in science.

    Although a question by the layman as to the current state of such theories or clarification of certain speculations held by people who are well within their right to be allowed a well informed and carefully structured speculation (most importantly with caveats) would be acceptable. Unfounded personal speculation when you are not one of the people at the forefront of research into a very specific area of physics is unproductive. It's akin to trying to run before you can walk, it takes years of intense and continued study to even try to catch up with the progressions of a knife edge discipline in physics and even then your speculation will be met with criticism, since it is not part of the scientific discipline to speculate. When well respected scientists speculate, they are doing so carefully and as a seperate excercise to their science, and any place where science is discussed in a serious manner, such as a peer reviewed journal, there is absolutely no place for speculation.
  11. Mar 17, 2015 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    No, for two reasons. First, there's no paradox that needs explaining. I fall into the black hole but light from this event never reaches your eyes, so it's not surprising that you don't see it no matter how long you wait. It is more surprising but also not paradoxical that the light not teaching your eyes is just a special case of a more general fact: no other effects of me falling through the event horizon will ever reach you. You'll find a bunch of threads in the relativity forum about how this works,

    Second, the idea of wave-particle duality was abandoned more than 75 years ago, and even back then it didn't mean what you're thinking. The idea wasn't that something could be both a particle and a wave, or that something could have a wave part and a particle part and the two parts could be separated. It meant that some experiments would show wave-like behavior (look for diffraction or interference) and other experiments would show particle-like behavior (look for spots on a photographic film, for example).
  12. Mar 17, 2015 #11

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    I believe this is an appropriate point to close this thread.
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