Black holes are gravitational monsters, squeezing gas and dust down to a microscopic point like great cosmic trash compactors. Modern physics dictates that, after being consumed, information about this matter should be forever lost to the universe. But a new experiment suggests that there might be a way to use quantum mechanics to gain some insight into the interior of a black hole.
By Adam Mann | SPACE.com
„In quantum physics, information cannot possibly be lost,“ Kevin Landsman, a physics graduate student at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland in College Park, told Live Science. „Instead, information can be hidden, or scrambled“ among subatomic, inextricably linked particles.
Landsman and his co-authors showed that they could measure when and how quickly information was scrambled inside a simplified model of a black hole, providing a potential peek into the otherwise impenetrable entities. The findings, which appear today (March 6) in the journalNature, could also help in the development of quantum computers. [Stephen Hawking’s Most Far-Out Ideas About Black Holes]
Black holes are infinitely dense, infinitely small objects formed from the collapse of a giant, dead star that went supernova. Because of their massive gravitational pull, they suck in surrounding material, which disappears behind what’s known as their event horizon — the point past which nothing, including light, can escape.