“one of three ideas that lie at the heart and soul of modern physics, had to be wrong”

 “He had good reason,” said Dr. Polchinski, “but he gave up for the wrong reason.” Nobody, he explained, had yet figured out exactly how information does get out of a black hole.

That was the task that four researchers based in Santa Barbara — Ahmed Almheiri, Donald Marolf, and James Sully, all from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Dr. Polchinski of the Kavli Institute set themselves a year ago. The team (called AMPS, after their initials) found, to their surprise, that following the known laws of physics would lead to a contradiction, the firewall paradox.

Their calculations showed that having information flowing out of a black hole was incompatible with having an otherwise smooth Einsteinian space-time at its boundary, the event horizon. In its place would be a discontinuity in the vacuum that would manifest itself as energetic particles — a “firewall” — lurking just inside the black hole.

Being incinerated as you entered a black hole would certainly contradict Einstein’s dictum of no drama. If this were true, you would in fact die long before the bungee-jumping ride ever got anywhere close to the bottom. The existence of a firewall would mean that the horizon, which according to general relativity is just empty space, is a special place, pulling the rug out from under Einstein’s principle, his theory of gravity, and modern cosmology, which is based on general relativity. This presented the scientists with what Dr. Bousso calls the “menu from hell.”

Read More | “A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox” | Dennis Overbye | ?NY Times

Sunday Reading

It appears that you have not licensed usage through our image representatives, nor do you have written permission from us to use these images. Adding to it, you stripped off identifying information and give no attribution on where the images came from.

Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges

I am writing this on the premise that you are a well-meaning person who wishes Occupy Wall Street to succeed. I am also writing as someone who was deeply involved in the early stages of planning Occupy in New York. I am also an anarchist who has participated in many Black Blocs. This is why I feel compelled to respond to your statement “The Cancer in Occupy.” This statement is not only factually inaccurate, it is quite literally dangerous.