Physics of Black Holes

Volume 769 of the series Lecture Notes in Physics pp 89-123

Black Hole Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

  • S. CarlipAffiliated withPhysics Department, University of California at DavisITF, Utrecht University

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


We have known for more than 30 years that black holes behave as thermodynamic systems, radiating as black bodies with characteristic temperatures and entropies. This behavior is not only interesting in its own right; it could also, through a statistical mechanical description, cast light on some of the deep problems of quantizing gravity. In these lectures, I review what we currently know about black hole thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, suggest a rather speculative “universal” characterization of the underlying states, and describe some key open questions.