Article

Journal of High Energy Physics

, 2013:62

Black holes: complementarity or firewalls?

  • Ahmed AlmheiriAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of California
  • , Donald MarolfAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of CaliforniaKavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California
  • , Joseph PolchinskiAffiliated withKavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California Email author 
  • , James SullyAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, University of California

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Abstract

We argue that the following three statements cannot all be true: (i) Hawking radiation is in a pure state, (ii) the information carried by the radiation is emitted from the region near the horizon, with low energy effective field theory valid beyond some microscopic distance from the horizon, and (iii) the infalling observer encounters nothing unusual at the horizon. Perhaps the most conservative resolution is that the infalling observer burns up at the horizon. Alternatives would seem to require novel dynamics that nevertheless cause notable violations of semiclassical physics at macroscopic distances from the horizon.

Keywords

Black Holes Gauge-gravity correspondence