We are the international group of theoretical physicists assembled in Stockholm to work on the paradoxes of black holes, hawking radiation, and the deep mysteries of the Universe. Ask us anything!
We're here at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA) ready to take your questions.
We spent this past week working on some of the most challenging questions in theoretical physics. Last Tuesday, our colleague Stephen Hawking presented to us his latest idea to solve the growing paradoxes of black hole physics. We discussed this, and many other ideas, that may light the path towards a deeper understanding of black holes... and perhaps even point us towards the holy grail of physics. The so-called, "Theory of Everything"!
Could black hole Hawking Radiation be a "super-translation" of in-falling matter? Why does the Universe conserve information? Is "information" a physical object or just an idea? Do collapsing black holes bounce and become a super slow-motion white holes? Can black holes have an infinite amount of charge on their surfaces? Or, could black holes not exist and really be “GravaStars” in disguise? We’re trying to find out! Ask us anything!
Special thanks to conference organizers Nordita, UNC-Chapel Hill, The University of Stockholm, and facilitation by KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
AMA Participants so-far:
Malcolm J. Perry
Professor of Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University
Chief Collaborator with Stephen Hawking and Andy Strominger on new idea involving super-translations in Black Hole physics.
Director of The Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics
George Eugene Uhlenbeck Professor of Physics at University of Michigan
Founder of the theory of “Natural Inflation."
Author of first scientific paper on Dark Stars.
Author of “The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter.”
Assistant professor for high energy physics and freelance science writer
The Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita)
Blogs at backreaction.blogspot.com
Paulo Vargas Moniz
Chair of department of Gravitation and Physics
University of Beira Interior, Portugal
Author "Quantum Cosmology" Vol I, Vol II.
Author of "Classical and Quantum Gravity"
Author "7 Brief Lectures in Physics"
Co-founder of Loop Quantum Gravity.
The Max Planck Institute
Originator of methods for detecting dark matter in Earth-based laboratories
NWO Veni Fellow
Radboud University Nijmegen
Author of “Covariant Loop Quantum Gravity.”
Author of the first scientific paper proposing Planck Stars
Professor of physics
Imperial College of London
Professor of Gravitational and Quantum Physics
University of Florida
Oskar Kelin center fellow of cosmology
Co-author of first paper on Dark Stars
Emil Mottola, particle cosmologist
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Author of first paper on GravaStars
Professor of Physics
Leading expert of String Cosmology
Recipient of the Göran Gustafsson Prize
Recipient of the Thuréus Prize
Yen Chin Ong
Queen of the Quark-Gluon Plasma, the CMB Anisotropies, and of the First Baryons
Queen of Neutrinos
Khaleesi of the Great Universal Wave Function
Breaker of Entanglement
Mother of Dragons
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
“Through the Wormhole: With Morgan Freeman”
Proof: http://www.nordita.org http://i.imgur.com/Ka3MDKr.jpg Director and Conference Organizer Katie Freese: http://i.imgur.com/7xIGeGh.jpg Science Writer Tony Lund: http://i.imgur.com/mux9L5x.jpg
UPDATE: we had such a blast hanging out with you all tonight, so much so, that we are going to continue the conversation into the weekend. We may even bring along some more friends!
8/31/15 UPDATE: Please welcome Sabine and Paulo to the conversation!
Based on what I've heard this week...
- If Malcolm is correct: "Confounding Sasquatch Spheres."
- If Emil is correct: "Super Heavy GraviStars"
- If Francesca is correct: "Quirky Flippy Bouncy Whitey Blacky Ball"
- If Jim is correct: "Cosmic Oreo."
- If Stephan is correct: "Black Holes -- stop worrying about it."
- If Joe is correct: "Fiery Death Ball"
- If Samir is correct: "Deadly Fuzz Ball."
There are more... I'll try to think of them!
Someday, I hope each of these will get their own movie poster!
(EDIT -- bad grammar)
Thanks, Reddit!! We just hit the front page, so we opened up a bottle of Benromach 10 Year Old Speyside Scotch, and we toast to you all for the great questions! http://imgur.com/eGWwAMK
Can you explain some of what you're doing in laymen's terms?
Gravity explains how heavenly bodies, such as stars and planets, hold together, while quantum mechanics explains what are the properties of ordinary matter. We are trying to understand how these two theories can work together when stars become very compact and collapse to form a black hole. So far, our understanding suggests that black holes should not remain black, but should eventually evaporate. This leaves us with a puzzle about how information of what formed the black hole can still be preserved after the end of the evaporation. That is the puzzling problem we have been discussing all week.
So what are some theories - once again in layman's terms (as much as possible) that you've been discussing, if you're allowed to share?
One of the ideas presented that I quite enjoyed was Carlo and Francesca's theory that when a star collapses, it does not form a black hole. It actually 'bounces' over a VEEEEEERRRRYY long period of time (we're talking 10 followed by 50 zeroes or higher, depending on the mass of the initial star. It's a very speculative theory, and based primarily on ideas found in "Loop Quantum Gravity" which is also speculative) However, I found this idea compelling because it challenges us to consider the possibility that the Universe is playing a trick on us! What we think is one thing, may actually turn out to be another in disguise.
Another excellent talk argued that Black Holes are actually "GravaStars" -- in essence, an EXTREMELY dense star.
(I may also be biased because Emil's math was entirely classical and I didn't have to pretend to understand it ;))
As someone working to get the word out about scientific discovery, what are the biggest challenges you see of reconciling complex science and the understanding of the common person?
Ah, yes. It can be quite hard sometimes because some of the most beautiful ideas in cutting physics are difficult to explain in less than 20 minutes.
I tried once to explain the Anti-De Sitter Conformal Field Theory Duality ("Ads/CFT") to my Mother's kindergarten class. I think one of them got it, but she may been just been eagerly staring at the cookie jar.
What's so pleasurable about attending conferences like these, is that Physicists use the same neurological tools as laymen to try to understand the mysteries of the Universe... our brains are very good at understanding concepts related to motion, so Physicists often discuss new ideas by describing how imaginary particles, or mathematical objects, or even calculations themselves, "move" in an abstract space. For example, its useful to think about equations "going to infinity" rather than resulting in infinity.
So, the layperson uses the same regions in their brain to understand complex processes, they just don't have the massive lexicon of terms and concepts that these cats do.
So, when I've only got 2 minutes to explain"Ads/CFT" on TV, I always try to think about what's literally moving in that space, and how to visualize it.
Pretty cool ! How is the chick action ?
I'm a gorgeous babe myself, dude.
Can testify to that. But are you invariant?
We should measure her gorgeousness over time. I'll apply for a grant.
Katie's beauty seems to be fixed and not time-dependent. It therefore follows that her beauty extends to the null infinity boundary of the Universe.
Does Tony know that 'Lund' means penis in Hindi? I'm sorry, it's a very immature question and I'll probably be downvoted.
I live with an Indian roomate my first two years in University....
Apparently "Tony" also sounds very similar to the word "Pensive."
So, one can only hope my obituary in India will read "Americans Mourn the Loss of Pensive Penis."
If you could rename "black holes" based on what we currently know about them what would you call them? And why?
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