Professor's Black Hole Work Profiled in Scientific American
Stephen Hawking taught us that black holes aren't actually completely black: they radiate heat if ever so slowly. Ever since Stephen Hawking's discovery back in the seventies, physicists have wondered whether that heat might contain the highly scrambled remains of information dropped into the black hole. Whether the answer is yes or no has serious implications for any attempt to unify the theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity, two great scientific theories that are frustratingly inconsistent with each other.
In recent work, School of Computer Science professor Patrick Hayden and his colleague John Preskill of Caltech have provided new estimates on the rate at which information escapes from black holes. They propose that the information comes out so quickly that black holes are effectively information mirrors. Their investigation has been profiled in a recent article in Scientific American.
The original paper is available here.