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The entropy of black holes: The 2023 Andrew Chamblin Memorial Colloquium

The 2023 Andrew Chamblin Memorial Colloquium


Speaker:  Dr. Vijay Balasubramanian


University of Pennsylvania


Title:  The entropy of black holes

Abstract:  One of the most famous results of twentieth-century physics states that black holes carry an entropy proportional to the area of their horizons. This entropy formula is universal in general relativity: it applies to black holes with any mass, charge, or rotation, and in any spacetime dimension.  I will describe a recent proposal explaining the microscopic origin and universality of this formula.  The proposal exploits new developments in the study of many-body chaos, thermalization, and quantum dynamics, along with concepts of complexity and information from theoretical computer science, communications theory, and cryptography.  These developments also suggest that the interior of a black hole is causally accessible to external observers, but only if they can perform egregiously complex measurements that are inaccessible under normal conditions.