The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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

The Resurrection of Information

The curvature in proximity of a black hole is infinite: all objects are doomed. There is a distance from the black hole which is the last point where an object can still escape the fall: the set of those points defines the horizon of the black hole.

In 1974 Stephen Hawking discovered that black holes may evaporate and eventually vanish.  The "Hawking radiation" that remains has lost all information about the black hole. This violates the assumption of determinism in the evolution of the universe, i.e. that, if we know the present, we can always derive the past, because the present universe contains all information about how the past universe was. 

Only two options have been found to allow for the conservation of information.  The first one is to allow for information to travel faster than light. That would allow it to escape the black hole. But it would violate the law of causality (that nothing can travel faster than light).

The second option is that a vanishing black hole may leave behind a remnant the size of the Planck length. Andrew Strominger has argued for the latter option. This option, based on the discovery that string theory comes in a wild variety of possible variations ("Superstrings with Torsion", 1986), calls for an infinite number of new particles, as each black hole is different and would decay into a different particle. Strominger believes that such particles are extreme warps of space-time, "cornucopions", that can store huge amount of information even if they appear very small to an outside observer and their information would not be accessible.

After all, Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein had proved that the entropy of a black hole is proportional to its surface (or, better, the surface area of its event horizon), which means that entropy should decrease constantly during the collapse of the black hole, which means that information must somehow increase, and not disappear...

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