Event Horizon Telescope May Help Solve Black Hole Information Paradox

8 April 2017, 6:33 am EDT By Allan Adamson Tech Times
Einstein's theory of relativity predicts that all information that crosses the event horizon will be lost but quantum mechanics states information can never be lost. How can the Event Horizon Telescope help solve the black hole information paradox?
  ( NASA/JPL-Caltech )

The event horizon of the black hole is the ultimate point of no return. Beyond this theoretical boundary, everything including light cannot escape but can black hole gobble up information itself?

Black Hole Information Paradox

Certain properties of matter and energy contain information. Particles like proton, for instance, contain a range of properties.

Scientists have long been puzzled by the so-called black hole information paradox because of the clash between the ideas of general relativity and quantum mechanics.

According to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes how gravity affects the cosmos, all the information that crosses black hole's event horizon get lost forever. Quantum mechanics, however, states that information can never be lost.

In the 1970s, Stephen Hawking discovered that black holes can disappear. If a black hole disappears, information is lost forever. Since quantum mechanics is based on the idea that information cannot be lost, the theoretical structure would be put in question if the information of particles can indeed be lost in the black hole.

Hawking has proposed ways to resolve the black hole paradox. One idea is that once a charged particle gets sucked into a black hole, its information leaves behind a two-dimensional holographic imprint on the event horizon, which means that while all the physical components of an object would be completely obliterated, its blueprint lives on. Another is that information may break out into an alternative universe.

"The message of this lecture is that black holes ain't as black as they are painted." Hawking said at a 2015 conference. "They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly come out in another universe."

Hawking's theories, however, do not always give the complete answer to puzzles of the universe including those of black holes but physicists hope that a project that aims to capture the first-ever image of a black hole may offer new answers.

Event Horizon Telescope Project

Between April 5 and April 14, astronomers will use a system of radio telescopes that are scattered at different locations around the world to peer at the monster black hole lying at the center of the Milky Way. The black hole, Sagittarius A*, is 4 million times as massive as the Solar System's sun.

The project dubbed Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) aims to take a view of the event horizon of Sagittarius A*. Data that the EHT will gather can help researchers sort through the many theories about black hole and those about these objects that have never been understood before. Astronomers said that the project can also shed more light about the information paradox as it will take a closer look at the black hole's event horizon.

"At the very heart of Einstein's general theory of relativity, there is a notion that quantum mechanics and general relativity can be melded, that there is a grand, unified theory of fundamental concepts," said Gopal Narayanan, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "The place to study that is at the event horizon of a black hole."

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