Black Holes and Information Loss

Blackhole1_2 Over at news@nature, Geoff Brumfiel looks at the issue:

If you were sucked into a black hole, you wouldn’t stand a chance. But new calculations suggest that some things might survive travelling to the heart of the Universe’s darkest objects.

‘Quantum information’ could make it through a black hole, says a group of theorists at Pennsylvania State University. If their calculation holds water, it would solve an important problem for quantum mechanics — and make the behaviour of black holes easier to predict.

Black holes have a dastardly reputation for devouring everything they come across. Anything that travels beyond a hole’s ‘event horizon’ — the boundary of the region where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape — will eventually fall into its centre.

And at the black hole’s centre lies the ‘singularity’, a single point where mass becomes infinite and the laws of gravity break down.