November 17, 2019
Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe – The Information Paradox

Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe – The Information Paradox

Black holes are the most powerful things in the universe, strong enough to rip whole stars into atom sized pieces Well, this is scary enough. They have an even more powerful and dark property: they might delete the universe itself. Black holes in a nutshell A black hole appears when an extraordinary amount of matter is concentrated in a tiny space. At their center, gravity is almost infinitely strong and whatever gets too close is ripped into its elementary particles. Not even light can escape black holes, and so we perceive them as spheres of blackness. If you were to fall into a black hole, nothing bad would happen until well after you crossed its outer border: the event horizon. You can imagine this as swimming in a river that ends in an enormous waterfall. As you float along, imperceptibly, the stream gets faster and faster, even if you can’t see the waterfall yet. You could swim to safety, until without even noticing it, you cross the point of no return. No matter how fast you try to swim now, the stream will pull you towards certain death. Nothing can escape a black hole waterfall once it gets too close. This border completely separates black holes from the rest of the universe: we can’t access them unless we’re willing to never return. So there’s no way of telling what’s really going on inside black holes, but we have a few ideas about what’s going on right at their very edges. Black holes radiate their mass away, like a hot pot on a stove losing its water as steam. This is called Hawking radiation. Black holes constantly lose an extremely tiny amount of their mass, a process that’s unbelievably slow. It will take a black hole with a mass of our sun 10,000 billion billion billion billion billion billion years to lose 0.0000001% of its mass. This is happening constantly and unstoppably, and as it goes on it speeds up more and more. In the far far future when the last star in the universe has been dead for trillions of years, black holes will become tinier and tinier until they evaporate and disappear, leaving behind just a bit of radiation. But this is a problem, because in the process of disappearing black holes might delete something fundamental: information. 2 – What is information? Information is nothing tangible. It’s typically understood as a property of the arrangement of particles. What does this mean? Imagine a bunch of carbon atoms. Arrange them in a certain way and you get coal. Arrange them in a different way, and you get a diamond. The atoms are the same, what changes is the information. If we make this more complex and add in a few more atoms, we get a banana. Change the arrangement of the atoms, and we get a squirrel. The basic building blocks of everything in the universe are the same, and don’t care if they’re part of a bird or a rock or a cup of coffee. Without information everything in the universe would be the same. According to the theory of quantum mechanics information is indestructible. It might change shape, but it can never be lost: for example if you burn a piece of paper, you get ash. That ash will never become paper again. But, if you were able to carefully collect every single carbon atom in the ash, and measured the exact properties of the smoke and heat radiating from the fire, you could, in theory reconstruct the paper. The information of the paper is still in the universe. It’s not lost, it’s just hard to read. If you could somehow measure every single atom and particle and wave of radiation in the universe, you could see and track every bit of information there is. Hypothetically, you could see the entire history of the universe right back to the Big Bang. And here black holes trip us up. Information tells us how things are different from each other and what used to be what. Black holes do the opposite: they take different things and make them the same. They destroy information. This creates the information paradox, and this is a serious problem. The information paradox It’s fundamental for all our laws of physics that information can never be lost. Existing, not existing. Without information, everything is relative. When it comes to our understanding of reality, we need absolutes. How could we solve this paradox? There are a few possibilities. 1) Information is lost. Irretrievably and forever. This means we have to nix all our laws of physics, throwing out a lot of stuff that’s worked very well so far and to start from scratch What those new laws of physics would look like, or what that means for us, nobody knows. This is a little frightening, but also kind of exciting. 2) Information is hidden. Maybe a little part of the black hole splits off and forms a baby universe. The information would be transferred into this new weird place, where we could never observe or interact with it, but technically it would not be lost. It’s like having a broken hard drive with all your family photos, that you could never access. Sure, it’s nice that they’ve not been deleted, but also not very helpful. Or maybe black holes don’t disappear completely after the end of their life cycles, but a little piece is left, an information diamond. like a clown car filled with an infinite amount of information clowns. But there’s a third option: Information is safe after all, not lost or hidden. Perhaps we’ve just been looking at this whole thing the wrong way. We know that black holes trap information and might delete it later, but we never thought about what they do with it in the meantime. Where do black holes store their information? Cosmic housekeeping Let’s create a black hole with dirty laundry. First, we fill up a room with laundry baskets: the more laundry you want to store, the more baskets you put in the room. But at some point every single basket is full, and the room is completely stacked, not a single extra sock fits in. The room is at maximum capacity. But if we still squeeze the sock in with a lot of energy and violence, the room collapses in on itself and forms a black hole. But the capacity of the room itself has not changed, fitting in more stuff or information is still impossible. So what happens if we throw more laundry into it? The room itself gets a little bit bigger to make space for the new information. It turns out a black hole grows its surface by a tiny pixel for each bit of information we throw into it. In a nutshell, more information means more surface area. The information gets painted on the surface, similar to what happens when we throw a stone into a pond. After the stone sinks to the bottom we can’t see it anymore, but we can tell that something went in from the ripples on the surface of the pond. Even the smallest black hole can store more information on its surface than all the data ever produced in human history. They do this by storing information in a type of pixel that is unbelievably tiny. Black holes are the ultimate hard drive. This is a bit like taking a paper back, and turning it into an e-book, two things that look completely different. But their content is the same — it’s just encoded and memorized in another way. Black holes swallowing stars and planets is a bit like transferring a whole library onto an e-reader. This solution is called the holographic principle, but if it’s correct then everything we thought we knew about the universe is wrong. The universe is a hologram If information is actually stored on the boundary of a black hole, the Hawking radiation has a chance of learning about the information encoded there, and can carry it away. So, information is not lost when black holes fade away, and we do not need to redo physics: the information paradox is resolved. But we still have to change our understanding of reality in a fundamental way. If everything that falls into the black hole is stored on its event horizon, that basically means that three-dimensional stuff is encoded on a flat surface. We have a name for this: a hologram. A hologram is like a 3D photo, a flat piece of plastic that encodes a three-dimensional image. A black hole is like a hologram, because everything inside it is encoded on its event horizon. A person inside a black hole will experience their usual three-dimensional life. but for us on the outside they are flattened images on the surface of the black hole. The consequence of this is counterintuitive, but stay with us for a moment. Black holes are very extreme objects, but they’re still bound to the same rules as everything else. So if this crazy duality between 2D and 3D works for black holes, then it might work for the whole universe, and you in it. Since a person inside a black hole would not realize that they’re encoded on a flat surface, we might share the same fate: you really might be stretched over a flat screen at the end of the universe. The science behind this is complicated and really weird, with toy universes to play with, string theory and a lot of maths. We’ll talk about this more in another video. Regardless of what the true nature of the universe really is, we just know that it’s strange and complicated, and we have to do a lot more physics to understand it. But black holes might be key to understanding the nature of reality itself. This video was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, and realized with the scientific advice of Alessandro Sfondrini.

100 thoughts on “Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe – The Information Paradox

  1. And, unlike like the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, this isn’t a parody of the complete nonsense of theoretics.

  2. ok, now I won't be satisfied with any technological device anymore… a smartphone with 1 TB of storage? F**k no, where is my black hole based smartphone…

  3. If you reconstruct that paper from the ash, does that mean you could reconstruct the contents of that paper?

    The thing about information never being lost that doesn't make sense to me is this. We destroy information all the time. That claim seems to me like its conflating horizontal information with vertical information. Sure you may be able to tell that it was paper, but what about the barcodes or passwords on that paper? When those atoms aren't organized specifically arranged relative to each other anymore, how does THAT information remain conserved? Qualitative information does seem to be destructible as far as I can tell. Meaning that the black hole paradox was never relevant in the first place. Its only relevant given a certain thought experiment taken out of context. And points to an error in our understanding rather than a paradox that breaks the universe.

  4. Fun dumb theory: I think black holes generate dark energy. Meaning the universe is
    much more interlinked then we think it is. Singularities compress space-time
    locally while expanding it in intergalactic space. When space-time disappears,
    it can reappear anywhere else in the universe where space does not fold as
    much. So, information absorbed by the black hole will cause space-time to fold more
    locally while causing it to unfold somewhere else and thus it gets recycled into dark

  5. Im going to make a prediction, so read me out!

    You know Life on the solar system can always be sustainable till a point of break (i´ll talk about it too)

    Today we are trying to send a female to Mars, She is still preparing, but will go on this journey in the next few years.

    If we are capable of making Mars a sustainable planet we could be able to make others as well.

    Now lets jump to the future year 4000

    If everything goes really well. Half or 3/4 of the Moon will habit life. Mars will be on a mass migration. That will be the case if humans over populate Earth making it unsustainable (nowhere to go) so half will stay (the poor) and half will go (the rich).

    Changing topic in the same context, have you watched the 100? They come from a Ship that they sustained over a ton bunch of years, then returned to Earth.

    Now if Earth becomes Unsustainable Humans could live on a spaceship and wait till Mars or the Earth re -establishes.

    Earth has a few Hundred Million Years. cause by that time Earth will be consumed by the Red Giant then.

    Then something fun will happen Earth, Venus, Mars and maybe Jupiter will die, that will leave us for some billions of years to live on Saturn, Phobos, Titan even Uranus lol.

    Humans have, and dont have time.

    If the sun turns at the end of its life into a white dwarf maybe thanks- to the gravitational pull of the crushing giant red sun, all the remaining planets may get pulled too.

    In all those billions of years, humanity may mature and discover a faster way of moving than light. Maybe we will learn to manipulate black holes.

    Or go inside of them to continue a life cycle.Cause
    if time inside of them is all messed up, Would not a dying black hole last for billions and billions of years if you are inside of them?

  6. Uctimact: black hole is call era is look 3800 light year away of sun
    Suuinkioa: ????
    Just begun
    Suuinkioa: Session credits
    I'm not

  7. Can anyone else sense how hypothetical uncertain and faulty are all those things he is talking about? From the obscure term ''information'' that have been given outrageous meanings, to what's happening inside an obscure black hole and if it radiates? none else wonder if those not very smart people just pee in your brain?
    edit: And later is getting even worse with holograms and string theory crap, you people are naive the least

  8. I remember when the media reported that scientists now believe we live in a hologram. Must have driven scientists crazy

  9. Year 20000000000: INTEL’S Black hole hard drive for sale! It is 7.37 mg x 10^infinity for that hard core gaming. But wait if you buy a miniature sun 1000000p screen we’ll throw in a 12% discount!

  10. I was under the impression that the Heisenberg uncertainties mean that not everything can be traced back to the big bang and predicted in the future…

  11. I don't care how many times it's been said, I'm gonna say it again. The artists who draw the animations for your videos are GENIUSES.

    Immersive enough to keep me interested, but not too attention-grabbing as to pull me away from what is being narrated. Just amazing

  12. Black Holes

    Don't let the name fool you: a black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area – think of a star ten times more massive than the Sun squeezed into a sphere approximately the diameter of New York City. The result is a gravitational field so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. In recent years, NASA instruments have painted a new picture of these strange objects that are, to many, the most fascinating objects in space.

    Intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star. (Video)

    Watch the Video

    The idea of an object in space so massive and dense that light could not escape it has been around for centuries. Most famously, black holes were predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which showed that when a massive star dies, it leaves behind a small, dense remnant core. If the core's mass is more than about three times the mass of the Sun, the equations showed, the force of gravity overwhelms all other forces and produces a black hole.

    A video about black holes.

    Watch the video

    Scientists can't directly observe black holes with telescopes that detect x-rays, light, or other forms of electromagnetic radiation. We can, however, infer the presence of black holes and study them by detecting their effect on other matter nearby. If a black hole passes through a cloud of interstellar matter, for example, it will draw matter inward in a process known as accretion. A similar process can occur if a normal star passes close to a black hole. In this case, the black hole can tear the star apart as it pulls it toward itself. As the attracted matter accelerates and heats up, it emits x-rays that radiate into space. Recent discoveries offer some tantalizing evidence that black holes have a dramatic influence on the neighborhoods around them – emitting powerful gamma ray bursts, devouring nearby stars, and spurring the growth of new stars in some areas while stalling it in others.

    One Star's End is a Black Hole's Beginning

    Most black holes form from the remnants of a large star that dies in a supernova explosion. (Smaller stars become dense neutron stars, which are not massive enough to trap light.) If the total mass of the star is large enough (about three times the mass of the Sun), it can be proven theoretically that no force can keep the star from collapsing under the influence of gravity. However, as the star collapses, a strange thing occurs. As the surface of the star nears an imaginary surface called the "event horizon," time on the star slows relative to the time kept by observers far away. When the surface reaches the event horizon, time stands still, and the star can collapse no more – it is a frozen collapsing object.

    Astronomers have identified a candidate for the smallest-known black hole. (Video)

    Watch the Video

    Even bigger black holes can result from stellar collisions. Soon after its launch in December 2004, NASA's Swift telescope observed the powerful, fleeting flashes of light known as gamma ray bursts. Chandra and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope later collected data from the event's "afterglow," and together the observations led astronomers to conclude that the powerful explosions can result when a black hole and a neutron star collide, producing another black hole.

    Babies and Giants

    Although the basic formation process is understood, one perennial mystery in the science of black holes is that they appear to exist on two radically different size scales. On the one end, there are the countless black holes that are the remnants of massive stars. Peppered throughout the Universe, these "stellar mass" black holes are generally 10 to 24 times as massive as the Sun. Astronomers spot them when another star draws near enough for some of the matter surrounding it to be snared by the black hole's gravity, churning out x-rays in the process. Most stellar black holes, however, lead isolated lives and are impossible to detect. Judging from the number of stars large enough to produce such black holes, however, scientists estimate that there are as many as ten million to a billion such black holes in the Milky Way alone.

    On the other end of the size spectrum are the giants known as "supermassive" black holes, which are millions, if not billions, of times as massive as the Sun. Astronomers believe that supermassive black holes lie at the center of virtually all large galaxies, even our own Milky Way. Astronomers can detect them by watching for their effects on nearby stars and gas.

    This chart shows the relative masses of super-dense cosmic objects.

    Read the full article

    Historically, astronomers have long believed that no mid-sized black holes exist. However, recent evidence from Chandra, XMM-Newton and Hubble strengthens the case that mid-size black holes do exist. One possible mechanism for the formation of supermassive black holes involves a chain reaction of collisions of stars in compact star clusters that results in the buildup of extremely massive stars, which then collapse to form intermediate-mass black holes. The star clusters then sink to the center of the galaxy, where the intermediate-mass black holes merge to form a supermassive black hole.

    Recent Discoveries

    DateDiscoveryJuly 12, 2018Fermi Traces Source of Cosmic Neutrino to Monster Black HoleJune 21, 2018'Red Nuggets' are Galactic Gold for AstronomersJune 18, 2018Star Shredded by Rare Breed of Black HoleJune 15, 2018Astronomers See Distant Eruption as Black Hole Destroys StarMay 31, 2018Gravitational Wave Event Likely Signaled Creation of a Black HoleMay 9, 2018Black Hole Bounty Captured in the Milky Way CenterFebruary 15, 2018Supermassive Black Holes Are Outgrowing Their GalaxiesJanuary 5, 2018Hubble Views a Supermassive Black Hole Burping – Twice (SDSS J1354 and SDSS J1354+1327)January 1, 2018Lasers and Supermassive Black Holes (UGC 6093)December 6, 2017Most Distant Black HoleNovember 30, 2017Giant Black Hole Pair Photobombs Andromeda GalaxyOctober 30, 2017Black Hole with Jets – V404 Cygni and GX 339-4October 3, 2017Scientists Find Elusive Giant Black Hole PairsAugust 15, 2017Cosmic Magnifying Lens Reveals Inner Jets of Black Holes

  13. Oh and by the way, every atom is the same right??
    And you say a black hole rips everything apart til it’s elemental something
    I think that means atoms
    So if something gets ripped apart til it’s atoms and you don’t have the atoms but you do know how it lookt you just grab a new set of atoms right?

    Plus, you say that the information is encrypted on the surface of the black hole and that when Hawking radiation comes it may carry that information

    So we just get something to grab the radiation and boom information?

  14. 2:26 i got anxiety here and was like wait the video si over already? because my brain saw that progress bar on screen and freaked out

  15. The theorical explanation of information theory kinda sounds like Plato’s theory of ideas that really interesting

  16. Ok from learning that black holes rip apart atoms and get bigger when they absorb something, that means the black hole is whatever it absorbs. So in theory, if we put the blackhole near another black hole, it could rip the black hole apart which gives us back the rest of the particles. However, we cannot retrieve the particles even if we have a filter that is smaller than the smallest particles in the universe. This is due to the ripping of the black hole, occuring only at the event horizon. There for the filter would also rip apart and allow everything to get into the black hole. Oh and fun fact, blackholes can 'eat' other blackholes and it will be their masses added up

  17. Imagine our universe like one of those netted squishy balls, with enough pressure you push some through, the netting is representing space time and the ball is our universe as the bit poking through gets bigger it takes mass from the main ball, and eventually will pull everything out with it now imagine that every hole in the netting leads to a new net with different holes and proportions this is how the mutiverse works, mass flows through universes feeding some, collapsing others, now imagine is on a infinite scale with unoverses of all sizes, ours could be the smallest or the biggest, but we couldn't know as to pass through the net is impossible to do and stay intact

  18. I don't really get this… aren't things on the subatomic level unknowable? E.g. if you measure an electron's position you change it's impulse and vice versa.
    So how could you do collect the quantum information of a particle configuration.
    My point is, aren't there things that are fundamentally unknowable?

  19. The concept of information is broken to me. The example of the burnt paper makes no sense. The information isn’t stored in the atoms in the soot and smoke, it’s stored in the brain of the observer. If you wrote down the contents of the ash pile and the smoke and handed the list to another person without also telling them it’s prior state they would not be able to recreate that prior state.

  20. Theory
    What if black holes consume things and lets assume that it saves the information and that it is mapped and the hawking principle does its thing and when the black hole get smaller and its about to explode but we wont be able to witness it. Lets assume that the black hole has consumed everything so info is saved. Also there is a singularity in the black hole back to the hawking principle where it is about to explode the info itself in the singularity explodes so it scatters and probably creates a universe like said in the vid. Also we wont be able to witness this since it takes so much time that we will probably be extinct and like the big bang it started with a singularity and that probably happened in the past black hole universe where there were a race like us but gone like the great filter

  21. If you fart and then hold your nose so you cant perceive it, does the fart exist everywhere in the universe at once

  22. What if information is just the order out of the disorder in quantum physics, so that waves are fundamental as the physical embodiment of information

  23. What if a black hole is like a restart button on a computer. Black holes will restart the universe when the universe is dying.

  24. What if when the universe is near its death and the blackholes exploades due to the hawking radiation, they create a new universe with new starsystems? Am I just stoned or are u too

  25. Omg I just solved it HOLLY CRAP

    Put a go pro on a big fish and send them in but make sure there breathing

    Fish wont drown???

    I bet none thought of that… Holly crap…

  26. maybe we all live in a simulation inside a huge computer and the black holes would be the hard drive modules: reality still exist inside and can get out by hawking radiation ("ram") that then "load" whatever info it stored into the universe the "screen" of the said computer. the gpu would be light itself, transfering information to the eye of whatever created us. what would be the power suply? dark mater? whatever it is it has to be huge. especially to run shaders at such a high resolution. 😉

  27. This has so much opportunity pull out some kind of philosophy. I wonder what, for examples, the Greeks could have done if they had this knowledge back when their mythology was forming.

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