Black Holes Have Soft Quantum Hair

June 7, 2016

Artist's rendering of a black hole. Image courtesy: NASA/M. WEISS (CHANDRA X -RAY CENTER)

Four decades ago, Stephen Hawking proposed that black holes could destroy information - a conclusion that is incompatible with standard laws of quantum physics. This idea started a controversy known as the "black hole information problem 'that even now has not been resolved. A new study by Hawking himself and Malcom Perry, both at the University of Cambridge, and by Andrew Strominger at Harvard University shows that some of the assumptions that led to the information problem might be wrong. Their results do not completely solve the problem, but point to a promising research direction that might lead to its long-awaited solution...

Read Viewpoint article by Gary T. Horowitz, "Black Holes Have Soft Quantum Hair," Physics 9, 62 (June 6, 2016) and the original research paper: Stephen W. Hawking, Malcolm J. Perry, and Andrew Strominger, "Soft Hair on Black Holes," Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 231301 (6 June 2016) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.231301.