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**These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"**

By definition,
all information about the matter that fell into a black hole is lost forever: a
black hole may have been generated by any initial configuration of matter, but
there is no record of which one it was. The Israeli
physicist Jakob Bekenstein (“Black Holes and the Second Law”, 1972) first
conceived that black holes should store a huge amount of entropy. The area of
the event horizon is a function of mass, spin and charge. The British physicist
Stephen Hawking (“The Singularities of gravitational collapse
and cosmology”, 1970) had already proven that this area can never decrease,
just like the entropy of a closed system can never decrease. The analogy
eventually led to an identity: the entropy of a black hole is proportional to
the area of its event horizon. Stephen Hawking (“Black hole explosions”, 1974) proved that black holes evaporate,
therefore information is not only trapped inside the black hole: it may truly
disappear forever. (The time it will take for a black hole to evaporate is
proportional to the cube of its mass). However, later
the US physicist Leonard Susskind and the Dutch physicist Gerard ’t Hooft (“Dimensional Reduction in Quantum Gravity”,
1993) argued that information is probably conserved, i.e. black holes are not
information-erasers but information-scramblers. They viewed a black hole as a
hologram: information about what has been lost inside the black hole is encoded
on the surface of the black hole (in
the form of fluctuations of the event horizon). Bekenstein’s and Hawking’s studies were
particularly relevant because they were the first major attempts to integrate
Relativity, Quantum Theory and Thermodynamics. The
disappearance of matter, energy and information in a black hole has puzzled
physicists since the beginning, as it obviously violates the strongest
principle of conservation that our Physics is built upon. It also highlights
the contradictions between Quantum Theory and Relativity Theory: the former
guarantees that information is never lost, the latter predicts that it will be
lost in a black hole. Einstein himself realized that black holes implied the existence of a "bridge", originally called "Einstein-Rosen bridge" ("The Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity", 1935), between our universe and a mirror universe which is hidden inside the black hole, and in which Time runs backwards. The "wormhole" is a solution to Einstein's own gravitational equations already discovered by the Austrian physicist Ludwig Flamm ("The Foundations of Wave Mechanics", 1916). The Austrian mathematician Kurt Godel, the same individual who had just single-handedly shattered the edifice of Mathematics, pointed out ("An Example Of A New Type Of Cosmological Solution Of Einstein's Field Equations Of Gravitation", 1949) how Einstein's equations applied to a rotating universe implied that space-time can curve to the point that a particle will return to a previous point in time; in other words, "wormholes" would exist connecting two different points in time of the same universe. John Wheeler, who actually coined the term "wormhole" in 1957, showed that wormholes are born, grow and die (""Causality and Multiply-Connected Space-Time", 1962). Scientists speculated that two points in space can be connected through several different routes, because of the existence of spatial wormholes. Such wormholes could act like shortcuts, so that travel between the two points can occur even faster than the speed of light.
The New Zealand
mathematician Roy Kerr in 1963 and the US physicist Frank Tipler in 1974 found other situations in which wormholes were admissible.
In the U.S., Kip Thorne even designed a time machine capable of
exploiting such time wormholes. Stephen Hawking came up with the idea of wormholes connecting
different universes altogether: Hawking's wave function allows the existence of
an infinite set of universes, some more likely than others, and wormholes the
size of the Planck length connect all these parallel universes
with each other. Back to the beginning of the chapter "The New Physics" | Back to the index of all chapters |