Superconductors may shed light on the black hole information paradox | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

Support Science Journalism

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


News

Superconductors may shed light on the black hole information paradox

Scientists are trying to understand what happens to information that falls into a black hole

By
4:12pm, March 9, 2018
illustration of a black hole

MIRROR, MIRROR When black holes evaporate, where does the trapped information go? One potential explanation, that the black hole (illustrated) reflects the information instead of trapping it, has parallels with the behavior of materials that conduct electricity without resistance.

LOS ANGELES ­— Insights into a black hole paradox may come from a down-to-Earth source.

Superconductors, materials through which electrons can move freely without resistance, may share some of the physics of black holes, physicist Sreenath Kizhakkumpurath Manikandan of the University of Rochester in New York reported March 7 at a meeting of the American Physical Society. The analogy between the two objects could help scientists understand what happens to information that gets swallowed up in a black hole’s abyss.

When a black hole gobbles up particles, information about the particles’ properties is seemingly trapped inside. According to quantum mechanics, such information cannot be destroyed. Physicist Stephen Hawking determined in 1974 that black holes slowly evaporate over time, emitting what’s known as Hawking radiation before eventually disappearing. That

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More Context posts

From the Nature Index Paid Content