Skip to main content

Three Lectures on Complexity and Black Holes

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Reveals the interior world of black holes, moving well behind horizons
  • Important connections between thermodynamics and complexity are proposed and discussed
  • Pedagogically written, serves as a fundamental introduction to black holes and their complex physical interpretation

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Physics (SpringerBriefs in Physics)

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this book

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

eBook USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book USD 64.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access

Licence this eBook for your library

Institutional subscriptions

About this book

These three lectures cover a certain aspect of complexity and black holes, namely the relation to the second law of thermodynamics. The first lecture describes the meaning of quantum complexity, the analogy between entropy and complexity, and the second law of complexity. Lecture two reviews the connection between the second law of complexity and the interior of black holes. Prof. L. Susskind discusses how firewalls are related to periods of non-increasing complexity which typically only occur after an exponentially long time. The final lecture is about the thermodynamics of complexity, and “uncomplexity” as a resource for doing computational work. The author explains the remarkable power of “one clean qubit,” in both computational terms and in space-time terms.

This book is intended for graduate students and researchers who want to take the first steps towards the mysteries of black holes and their complexity.

Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (23 chapters)

  1. Lecture I: Hilbert Space is Huge

  2. Lecture II: Black Holes and the Second Law of Complexity

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, USA

    Leonard Susskind

About the author

Leonard Susskind is an American physicist, who is professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University, and founding director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. His research interests include string theory, quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics and quantum cosmology.He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an associate member of the faculty of Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and a distinguished professor of the Korea Institute for Advanced Study.

Susskind is widely regarded as one of the fathers of string theory. He was the first to give a precise string-theoretic interpretation of the holographic principle in 1995 and the first to introduce the idea of the string theory landscape in 2003.

Susskind was awarded the 1998 J. J. Sakurai Prize, and the 2018 Oskar Klein Medal.

Bibliographic Information

Publish with us