For years, scientists have believed that black holes are a portal to no-return. Astronauts in movies fear the mouths of black holes because the nothingness extends into an unknown forever. Black holes have been known as Bermuda Triangles of space – what goes in is lost forever. Or so we thought.
Over time, physicists have argued that black holes are the ultimate vaults, entities that suck in information and then evaporate without leaving behind any clues as to what they once contained. But new research shows that this perspective may not be correct.
According to this new study, black holes don’t erase information, which may suggest that “information loss paradox” in black holes does not exist.
Stephen Hawking was the first who proposed that black holes were capable of radiating particles, and that the energy lost through this process would cause the black holes to shrink and eventually disappear. He further concluded that the particles emitted by a black hole would provide no clues about what lay inside, meaning that any information held within a black hole would be completely lost once the entity evaporated. Though Hawking later said he was wrong and that information could escape from black holes.
“According to our work, information isn’t lost once it enters a black hole. It doesn’t just disappear,” said co-author Dr Dejan Stojkovic of the University at Buffalo.
In their study, Dr. Dejan Stojkovic and doctoral student Anshul Saini explain interactions that take place between the particles given off by a black hole can be used to reveal information about the phenomenon, such as the traits of the object that first formed it and the characteristics of the matter and energy it draws in. The new study presents explicit calculations demonstrating how information is preserved, Stojkovic said.
Further, Stojkovic explain: “an observer standing outside a black hole can recover information about the matter at the heart of the black hole by analyzing particle interactions such as gravitational attraction. Apparently, the scientific community has knows of such correlating information for a while, but this is the first paper flesh out the connection mathematically.”
Originally, many scientists deemed these correlations as ineffective because they were so minute, but Stojovic calculated that these interactions grow over time, and become large enough to significantly affect calculations.
“These correlations were often ignored in related calculations since they were thought to be small and not capable of making a significant difference,” Stojkovic said “Our explicit calculations show that though the correlations start off very small, they grow in time and become large enough to change the outcome.”
The research paper titled “Radiation from a Collapsing Object is Manifestly Unitary” was published in Physical Review Letters.