Correlations in Hawking radiation and the infall problem

Samir D. Mathur, Christopher J. Plumberg

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It is sometimes believed that small quantum gravity effects can encode information as 'delicate correlations' in Hawking radiation, thus saving unitarity while maintaining a semiclassical horizon. A recently derived inequality showed that this belief is incorrect: one must have order unity corrections to low energy evolution at the horizon (i.e. fuzzballs) to remove entanglement between radiation and the hole. In this paper we take several models of 'small corrections' and compute the entanglement entropy numerically; in each case this entanglement is seen to monotonically grow, in agreement with the general inequality. We also construct a model of 'burning paper', where the entanglement is found to rise and then return to zero, in agreement with the general arguments of Page. We then note that the fuzzball structure of string microstates offers a version of 'complementarity'. Low energy evolution is modified by order unity, resolving the information problem, while for high energy infalling modes (E > kT) we may be able to replace correlators by their ensemble averaged values. Israel (and others) have suggested that this ensemble sum can be represented in the thermo-field-dynamics language as an entangled sum over two copies of the system, giving the two sides of the extended black hole diagram. Thus high energy correlators in a microstate may be approximated by correlators in a spacetime with horizons, with the ensemble sum over microstates acting like the 'sewing' prescription of conformal field theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number93
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2011


  • Black Holes
  • Black Holes in String Theory


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