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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
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2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Iosif Bena
Theiss Research

Project Title

Black Hole Information, Microstates and Singularities

Project Summary

Modern Physics is based on two pillars: General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics; the first describes physics at large scales, while the second is useful at microscopic scales. Black holes put these theories in sharp contrast: General Relativity implies black holes are unique (there is a single black hole solution with a given mass, charge and angular momentum), while Quantum Mechanics ascribes to every black hole an entropy, which for a solar-mass black hole is of order 10^77. Hence, according to Quantum Mechanics this black hole has exp[10^77] states, while according to General Relativity it has just one! This is the biggest unexplained discrepancy in Theoretical Physics, and is at the root of Hawking's Black Hole Information Paradox. String Theory can successfully reproduce this entropy by counting various configurations with black hole charges in a microscopic quantum regime, but cannot do this in the general relativity regime. I intend to show that in this regime the black hole microstates are black-hole-sized horizon-less configurations. I plan to do this by constructing very large families of such solutions, and analyzing them holographically. If these solutions can account for the black hole entropy, this would solve Hawking's Information Paradox.

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