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Black hole information : Hawking's greatest mistake? Page, Don


Hawking’s 1974 calculation of thermal emission from a classical black hole led to his 1976 proposal that information may be lost from our universe as a pure quantum state collapses gravitationally into a black hole, which then evaporates completely into a mixed state of thermal radiation. Objections to this idea appeared as early as 1980, but it took two decades for the balance of opinion, including Hawking’s, to shift to the belief that information is not ultimately lost by black holes. The debate led to a lot of understanding of gravitational physics, so even if Hawking was originally wrong, it was a truly great mistake. (March 17, 2010). Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

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