Virtual Department Colloquium: Tues, Feb 9, 2021 - Black holes and baby universes

Event Date: 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Zoom
  • Physics Department Colloquium

Black holes and baby universes

Henry Maxfield, UCSB

A famously challenging problem is to understand quantum mechanical theories of gravity, and at the heart of those challenges are black holes. In our best-understood models of quantum gravity, black holes behave like fairly ordinary quantum systems as far as distant observers are concerned. But that is in conflict with a naive picture of black holes, where the information about what falls into the black hole seems to be lost forever, in conflict with ordinary quantum mechanics. I will explain the main ideas behind recent progress on this "black hole information problem". One of these ideas is that different black holes can be connected by "spacetime wormholes", shortcuts through the geometry of spacetime. These wormholes can also be thought of as "baby universes" which are created and destroyed by black holes, and have a profound effect on the predictions of a quantum theory of gravity.

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Meeting ID: 842 1723 4934
Passcode: 153690