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The Shadow of the Black Hole$
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John W. Moffat

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190650728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190650728.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

Thermodynamics, Quantum Physics, and Black Holes

Thermodynamics, Quantum Physics, and Black Holes

(p.24) 2 Thermodynamics, Quantum Physics, and Black Holes
The Shadow of the Black Hole

John W. Moffat

Oxford University Press

A major question confronting physicists studying black holes was whether thermodynamics applied to them—that is, whether the black holes radiated heat and lost energy. Bekenstein considered heat and thermodynamics important for the interior of black holes. Based on the second law of thermodynamics, Hawking proposed that black holes evaporate over a very long time through what we now call Hawking radiation. This concept contradicts the notion that nothing can escape a black hole event horizon. Quantum physics enters into Hawking’s calculations, and he discovered the conundrum that the radiation would violate quantum mechanics, leading to what is called the information loss problem. These ideas are still controversial, and many physicists have attempted to resolve them, including Russian theorists Zel’dovich and Starobinsky. Alternative quantum physics interpretations of black holes have been proposed that address the thermodynamics problems, including so-called gravastars.

Keywords:   Bekenstein, black hole thermodynamics, Hawking radiation, information loss problem, black hole quantum physics, Zel’dovich, Starobinsky, gravastar

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