[Paleopsych] Re: Hawking surprises GR 17

HowlBloom at aol.com HowlBloom at aol.com
Fri Jul 16 04:43:22 UTC 2004

All thanks, Joel.  I seized on this one, too.

The insight--that black holes DO allow information to escape, seemed 
intuitively obvious, perhaps because in big bang theory this entire cosmos leaked into 
existence from the equivalent of a black hole--a singularity.

If I understand what Hawking's getting at, and there's a chance that I may 
not, his notion gives credence to one of my bizarre speculations--that whatever 
information this cosmos gathers in its lifetime, it will be able to pass on to 
the universe on the other side of the big crunch in which the cosmos will 

In other words, universes, I suspect, can gather a store of networked 
information and, if they have clever beings with will and hubris, can compress that 
information and pass it on to their progeny.  J

ust as we living beings pass information on through genes or through memes, 
the cosmos that produces willfull, living beings can take their primitive 
capacities a long way in 20 billion years or so.

That 20 billion year figure, by the way, is based on my guess that this 
cosmos will survive for a total span of 30 billion years from birth to destruction. 
 Others better qualified than I am--Max Tegmark for example, who has a 
toroidal theory like mine-- put the total lifespan of the universe in the trillions 
of years.  Onward--Howard
In a message dated 7/15/2004 2:07:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
isaacsonj at hotmail.com writes:

The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service

Hawking cracks black hole paradox

19:00 14 July 04

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.

After nearly 30 years of arguing that a black hole destroys everything that 
falls into it, Stephen Hawking is saying he was wrong. It seems that black 
holes may after all allow information within them to escape. Hawking will 
present his latest finding at a conference in Ireland next week.

The about-turn might cost Hawking, a physicist at the University of 
Cambridge, an encyclopaedia because of a bet he made in 1997. More 
importantly, it might solve one of the long-standing puzzles in modern 
physics, known as the black hole information paradox.

It was Hawking's own work that created the paradox. In 1976, he calculated 
that once a black hole forms, it starts losing mass by radiating energy. 
This "Hawking radiation" contains no information about the matter inside the 
black hole and once the black hole evaporates, all information is lost.

But this conflicts with the laws of quantum physics, which say that such 
information can never be completely wiped out. Hawking's argument was that 
the intense gravitational fields of black holes somehow unravel the laws of 
quantum physics.

Other physicists have tried to chip away at this paradox. Earlier in 2004, 
Samir Mathur of Ohio State University in Columbus and his colleagues showed 
that if a black hole is modelled according to string theory - in which the 
universe is made of tiny, vibrating strings rather than point-like particles 
- then the black hole becomes a giant tangle of strings. And the Hawking 
radiation emitted by this "fuzzball" does contain information about the 
insides of a black hole (New Scientist print edition, 13 March).

Big reputation

Now, it seems that Hawking too has an answer to the conundrum and the 
physics community is abuzz with the news. Hawking requested at the last 
minute that he be allowed to present his findings at the 17th International 
Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin, Ireland.

"He sent a note saying 'I have solved the black hole information paradox and 
I want to talk about it'," says Curt Cutler, a physicist at the Albert 
Einstein Institute in Golm, Germany, who is chairing the conference's 
scientific committee. "I haven't seen a preprint [of the paper]. To be quite 
honest, I went on Hawking's reputation."

Though Hawking has not yet revealed the detailed maths behind his finding, 
sketchy details have emerged from a seminar Hawking gave at Cambridge. 
According to Cambridge colleague Gary Gibbons, an expert on the physics of 
black holes who was at the seminar, Hawking's black holes, unlike classic 
black holes, do not have a well-defined event horizon that hides everything 
within them from the outside world.

In essence, his new black holes now never quite become the kind that gobble 
up everything. Instead, they keep emitting radiation for a long time, and 
eventually open up to reveal the information within. "It's possible that 
what he presented in the seminar is a solution," says Gibbons. "But I think 
you have to say the jury is still out."

Forever hidden

At the conference, Hawking will have an hour on 21 July to make his case. If 
he succeeds, then, ironically, he will lose a bet that he and theoretical 
physicist Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 
Pasadena made with John Preskill, also of Caltech.

They argued that "information swallowed by a black hole is forever hidden, 
and can never be revealed".

"Since Stephen has changed his view and now believes that black holes do not 
destroy information, I expect him [and Kip] to concede the bet," Preskill 
told New Scientist. The duo are expected to present Preskill with an 
encyclopaedia of his choice "from which information can be recovered at 

Jenny Hogan

Howard Bloom
Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of 
History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 
21st Century
Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; Faculty 
Member, The Graduate Institute
Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member: Epic 
of Evolution Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; founder: The 
Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy 
of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International 
Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member: Youthactivism.org; executive 
editor -- New Paradigm book series.
For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see: 
for two chapters from 
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History, 
see www.howardbloom.net/lucifer
For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang 
to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
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