The ‘quantum hair’ of black holes, the possible answer to Stephen Hawking’s paradox

The notion of quantum hair makes it possible for information about what goes into a black hole to get back out again without violating either of the principles of two theories.

Scientists claim to have solved one of the greatest paradoxes in science first identified by Professor Stephen Hawking. This British theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, cosmologist and popularizer of science highlighted the fact that black holes behave in a way that confronts two fundamental theories.

Black holes are regions of space where the pull of gravity is so strong that nothing can escape. New research claims to have resolved the paradox, showing that black holes have a property they call “quantum hair.”

“This issue has been fixed”

“The problem has been resolved,” Professor Xavier Calmet, from the University of Sussex, told the BBC. This was one of the scientists who developed mathematical techniques.

At the center of the paradox is a problem that has threatened to undermine two of the most important theories in physics. Einstein’s general theory of relativity states that information about what goes into a black hole cannot get out, but quantum mechanics asserts that it is impossible.

Calmet and his counterparts reiterate that they have shown that the star’s constituents leave an imprint on the black hole’s gravitational field. This imprint was dubbed “quantum hair” by scientists because their theory supersedes an earlier idea known as the “hairless theorem” developed by John Archibald Wheeler in the 1960s.

It is revolutionary and solves the paradox
Calmet’s “yes hair theorem,” published in the journal Physical Review Letters, is revolutionary in every way. Furthermore, it claims to resolve Hawking’s paradox, bridging the gap between general relativity and quantum mechanics. This paradox has greatly concerned physicists since its invention in the 1970s.

This paradox raises the possibility that quantum mechanics or general relativity could be flawed, a fact that raises a terrifying prospect for theoretical physicists since they are the pillars on which most of our understanding of the universe rests.

The notion of quantum hair makes it possible for information about what goes into a black hole to get back out again without violating any of the essential principles of either theory. “It’s going to take a while for people to accept that you don’t need a radical solution to solve the problem,” says Calmet.

This could be the first step to connect the theories of relativity, which refer to quantum mechanics and gravity, essentially based on electromagnetism and two nuclear forces. The research team is also made up of Roberto Casadio, from the University of Bologna, and Professor Stephen Hsu, from Michigan State University.