Hawking redefines black holes

Thanks to my brother, Alan, for pointing me at this BBC report about Stephen Hawking recanting on his 30 year belief that information cannot escape from black holes at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation.

New Scientist reports "I want to report that I think I have solved a major problem in theoretical physics," announced Hawking as he described his solution to the black hole information paradox.

His abstract reads "The Euclidean path integral over all topologically trivial metrics can be done by time slicing and so is unitary when analytically continued to the Lorentzian. On the other hand, the path integral over all topologically non-trivial metrics is asymptotically independent of the initial state. Thus the total path integral is unitary and information is not lost in the formation and evaporation of black holes. The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon.". I’m glad we’ve got that straight.. 🙂

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