The black hole paradox that thwarts our understanding of reality

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Black holes devour worldly and past shrivel distant implicit billions of years. Explaining what happens to thing that falls successful explodes our existent theories of physics, says cosmologist Paul Davies

Physics 22 September 2021

By Paul Davies

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Jordi Ros

PLAY a movie of an mundane country backwards and we laughter due to the fact that it is truthful preposterous. We tin readily separate past from future, and lone spot processes that look to determination from the 1 to the other. Yet this bald information of our beingness – what we telephone time’s arrow – is, to physicists, a mystery. The laws of physics underpinning the mundane satellite are symmetric successful time. They are reversible, moving conscionable arsenic good backwards arsenic forwards.

A caller slant connected that representation comes from the interior of a black hole. Almost fractional a period ago, Stephen Hawking made a startling find astir these monsters, summoned into beingness by general relativity, Albert Einstein’s mentation of gravity. It implied that achromatic holes interruption the cardinal clip symmetry of physics, destroying accusation and preventing, adjacent theoretically, the reversal of a series of events from the aboriginal backmost to the past.

This has go known arsenic the achromatic spread accusation paradox. It highlights a profound disconnect betwixt wide relativity and different large pillar of modern physics, quantum theory, and stands successful the mode of a long-held imagination – a mentation that unites the two.

Just recently, determination person been claims that the paradox is adjacent to a resolution. Personally, I’m not truthful sure. But the twists and turns of this long-running saga person ever contained surprises, with perchance immense consequences for our quest to amended recognize however the satellite works astatine the astir basal level.

To spot the essence of the problem, ideate a container divided successful 2 by a membrane, with oxygen state connected 1 broadside and nitrogen connected the other. If …

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