Tuesday, Oct 2nd: Down the Drain: Why Black Holes Grow by Forgetting Information

Event Date: 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 3:45pm

Event Date Details: 

Refreshments served at 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640
  • Physics Colloquium
It is a famous question in black hole physics whether information that falls into a black hole can get out again.  However, even if there is a way to extract the information in principle, it may be very hard to do so in practice!  Thus, in order to explain why black holes obey a Second Law of Thermodynamics, we need to be able to give an account of how we deal with information being effectively lost.  This requires us to use a technique known as "coarse graining", where we forget some of the information in the system.  I will review the Jaynesian approach to coarse graining in ordinary (nongravitational) statistical systems.  I will then explain how the same methods can be applied to black holes, using recent developments based on the holographic principle in quantum gravity.  The result will be to give a statistical mechanical explanation for why the area of a black hole increases.  Based on recent work with Netta Engelhardt.
Talk starts at ***3:45pm****