Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe – The Information Paradox

Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe – The Information Paradox

Black holes are the most powerful things in the universe, strong enough to rip whole stars into atom sized pieces Well, this is scary enough. They have an even more powerful and dark property: they might delete the universe itself. Black holes in a nutshell A black hole appears when an extraordinary amount of matter is concentrated in a tiny space. At their center, gravity is almost infinitely strong and whatever gets too close is ripped into its elementary particles. Not even light can escape black holes, and so we perceive them as spheres of blackness. If you were to fall into a black hole, nothing bad would happen until well after you crossed its outer border: the event horizon. You can imagine this as swimming in a river that ends in an enormous waterfall. As you float along, imperceptibly, the stream gets faster and faster, even if you can’t see the waterfall yet. You could swim to safety, until without even noticing it, you cross the point of no return. No matter how fast you try to swim now, the stream will pull you towards certain death. Nothing can escape a black hole waterfall once it gets too close. This border completely separates black holes from the rest of the universe: we can’t access them unless we’re willing to never return. So there’s no way of telling what’s really going on inside black holes, but we have a few ideas about what’s going on right at their very edges. Black holes radiate their mass away, like a hot pot on a stove losing its water as steam. This is called Hawking radiation. Black holes constantly lose an extremely tiny amount of their mass, a process that’s unbelievably slow. It will take a black hole with a mass of our sun 10,000 billion billion billion billion billion billion years to lose 0.0000001% of its mass. This is happening constantly and unstoppably, and as it goes on it speeds up more and more. In the far far future when the last star in the universe has been dead for trillions of years, black holes will become tinier and tinier until they evaporate and disappear, leaving behind just a bit of radiation. But this is a problem, because in the process of disappearing black holes might delete something fundamental: information. 2 – What is information? Information is nothing tangible. It’s typically understood as a property of the arrangement of particles. What does this mean? Imagine a bunch of carbon atoms. Arrange them in a certain way and you get coal. Arrange them in a different way, and you get a diamond. The atoms are the same, what changes is the information. If we make this more complex and add in a few more atoms, we get a banana. Change the arrangement of the atoms, and we get a squirrel. The basic building blocks of everything in the universe are the same, and don’t care if they’re part of a bird or a rock or a cup of coffee. Without information everything in the universe would be the same. According to the theory of quantum mechanics information is indestructible. It might change shape, but it can never be lost: for example if you burn a piece of paper, you get ash. That ash will never become paper again. But, if you were able to carefully collect every single carbon atom in the ash, and measured the exact properties of the smoke and heat radiating from the fire, you could, in theory reconstruct the paper. The information of the paper is still in the universe. It’s not lost, it’s just hard to read. If you could somehow measure every single atom and particle and wave of radiation in the universe, you could see and track every bit of information there is. Hypothetically, you could see the entire history of the universe right back to the Big Bang. And here black holes trip us up. Information tells us how things are different from each other and what used to be what. Black holes do the opposite: they take different things and make them the same. They destroy information. This creates the information paradox, and this is a serious problem. The information paradox It’s fundamental for all our laws of physics that information can never be lost. Existing, not existing. Without information, everything is relative. When it comes to our understanding of reality, we need absolutes. How could we solve this paradox? There are a few possibilities. 1) Information is lost. Irretrievably and forever. This means we have to nix all our laws of physics, throwing out a lot of stuff that’s worked very well so far and to start from scratch What those new laws of physics would look like, or what that means for us, nobody knows. This is a little frightening, but also kind of exciting. 2) Information is hidden. Maybe a little part of the black hole splits off and forms a baby universe. The information would be transferred into this new weird place, where we could never observe or interact with it, but technically it would not be lost. It’s like having a broken hard drive with all your family photos, that you could never access. Sure, it’s nice that they’ve not been deleted, but also not very helpful. Or maybe black holes don’t disappear completely after the end of their life cycles, but a little piece is left, an information diamond. like a clown car filled with an infinite amount of information clowns. But there’s a third option: Information is safe after all, not lost or hidden. Perhaps we’ve just been looking at this whole thing the wrong way. We know that black holes trap information and might delete it later, but we never thought about what they do with it in the meantime. Where do black holes store their information? Cosmic housekeeping Let’s create a black hole with dirty laundry. First, we fill up a room with laundry baskets: the more laundry you want to store, the more baskets you put in the room. But at some point every single basket is full, and the room is completely stacked, not a single extra sock fits in. The room is at maximum capacity. But if we still squeeze the sock in with a lot of energy and violence, the room collapses in on itself and forms a black hole. But the capacity of the room itself has not changed, fitting in more stuff or information is still impossible. So what happens if we throw more laundry into it? The room itself gets a little bit bigger to make space for the new information. It turns out a black hole grows its surface by a tiny pixel for each bit of information we throw into it. In a nutshell, more information means more surface area. The information gets painted on the surface, similar to what happens when we throw a stone into a pond. After the stone sinks to the bottom we can’t see it anymore, but we can tell that something went in from the ripples on the surface of the pond. Even the smallest black hole can store more information on its surface than all the data ever produced in human history. They do this by storing information in a type of pixel that is unbelievably tiny. Black holes are the ultimate hard drive. This is a bit like taking a paper back, and turning it into an e-book, two things that look completely different. But their content is the same — it’s just encoded and memorized in another way. Black holes swallowing stars and planets is a bit like transferring a whole library onto an e-reader. This solution is called the holographic principle, but if it’s correct then everything we thought we knew about the universe is wrong. The universe is a hologram If information is actually stored on the boundary of a black hole, the Hawking radiation has a chance of learning about the information encoded there, and can carry it away. So, information is not lost when black holes fade away, and we do not need to redo physics: the information paradox is resolved. But we still have to change our understanding of reality in a fundamental way. If everything that falls into the black hole is stored on its event horizon, that basically means that three-dimensional stuff is encoded on a flat surface. We have a name for this: a hologram. A hologram is like a 3D photo, a flat piece of plastic that encodes a three-dimensional image. A black hole is like a hologram, because everything inside it is encoded on its event horizon. A person inside a black hole will experience their usual three-dimensional life. but for us on the outside they are flattened images on the surface of the black hole. The consequence of this is counterintuitive, but stay with us for a moment. Black holes are very extreme objects, but they’re still bound to the same rules as everything else. So if this crazy duality between 2D and 3D works for black holes, then it might work for the whole universe, and you in it. Since a person inside a black hole would not realize that they’re encoded on a flat surface, we might share the same fate: you really might be stretched over a flat screen at the end of the universe. The science behind this is complicated and really weird, with toy universes to play with, string theory and a lot of maths. We’ll talk about this more in another video. Regardless of what the true nature of the universe really is, we just know that it’s strange and complicated, and we have to do a lot more physics to understand it. But black holes might be key to understanding the nature of reality itself. This video was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, and realized with the scientific advice of Alessandro Sfondrini.

100 thoughts on “Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe – The Information Paradox

  1. Say we live on the surface of a blackhole and are in fact a 3D hologram projected from the 2D surface of a blackhole…
    It would make sense that we havent met any aliens yet, because we ourselves dont actually exist in the 3D world.

    Question tho, what would happen if our hologram-selves went to another black hole? Would that black hole make a hologram of a hologram?

  2. We are probably inside a black hole.
    Think about it, if the outer perimeter is constantly expanding FTL, at an accelerating pace, and we cannot see outside, is it not a possibility that it is an event horizon we are seeing from the inside?
    To us, the universe outside is invisible, and possibly nonsensical, spacetime that is folded in a way that allows the outer universal space to function, but seems to defy the laws of physics to those on the other side of the phase line.
    Where else do we see a similar phenomenon, but in reverse?
    A blackhole that eats up all local spacetime, "faster" than the speed of light.
    Just a matter of reference frame.
    Perhaps it's all just universes/blackhole simultaneously devouring each other, like the celestial serpent that is eating it's own tail, with a primordial, repetitive cycle of big bangs and readsorbtion.
    Each new cycle is different because of the free will of some of the contents of the interior.
    This means overthrowing elites is not just the right course of action, it is destiny, God doesn't want the same story repeated as infinitum.

  3. Obviously information can be destroyed, since it can be created and the laws of physics are supposed to be time reversible. How do I know it can be created? Well add up the surface areas of the event horizons of 2 black holes that merge before and after. There's a LOT more information after.

  4. Kurzgesagt gets something very important wrong here. A black hole doesn't store more information than anything else. Just for its size. Not for its mass. In fact, there is no way to cram more information into a smaller size than a black hole. BUT, it is very EASY to have more information than a black hole contains, for a given amount of mass.

  5. There is no paradox. This is debunked by Leonard Susskind. Information can not be destroyed. It is against fundemantal thermodynamics. Media star Hawking was pushed this idea unnecessarily too far turn it into border line pseudoscience.

  6. There's actually a theory about where energy goes when it meets the singularity. Many people believe when it happens, a new universe is born from said singularity. The first law of thermodynamics says that energy can neither be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred. This is where black holes come into the mix. If lets say, a star goes inside of a black hole, the energy isn't destroyed. It could be possible that the energy from said star is transferred throughout the singularity to create a new universe (a big bang) cause the energy has to go somewhere. But the question is, if all black holes are the building blocks of every universe created, then what universe made the first black hole, and what black hole created the first universe? The only reason we can come up with is that "time" never started or ended. we perceive time as something that can be fundamental outside our universe. We think time is a relative thing that had a "start" to everything. Then you start to think "But what happened before the start of everything?". but in reality it's possible time never really existed therefore there was no "start" or "end". Sure, there is ends to all universes (like the heat death, or big crunch), but the black holes themselves have already created billions of more universes, with the process keep going on and on with no end. But you could say that "where was the energy created from if energy can't be created or destroyed" it's possible that the energy could've been formed by the big bang, which is theoretically created by a singularity of the black hole. But then you could say, "where was the energy from the singularity from?" and like I said, it could be from another universe. there could be an endless loop of energy being transferred throughout infinite universes, which all of them could be parallel universes (universes that are alternate from ours). Think about it, if there could be an infinite amount of universes it means that almost every universe can be different by the most unnoticeable changes. So in conclusion, energy is transferred throughout infinite universes that had no start or end to anything. Energy has always been here and it will never leave. Time had no start or end, and black holes are the reason why everything has become the way it is now. And all of that has lead up to this point where you just wasted like 2 minutes reading this entire fucking documentary of a paragraph.

    So yeah, if you wanna debunk some stupid shit I might have mentioned in this theory, please tell me. I hope this enlightens some people to understand the concept of the space we're living in. Just in the name of curiosity and theories that keep us from questioning our existence.

  7. Ten thousand billion billion billion billlion billion billion billion billion billion billion billlion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion years

  8. What if the particles of the paper with the information decay. How they're gonna get that back? Siencetists are not the same anymore. If they find something that doesnt fit their rules, they aren't investigate their rules, but investigate why the anomaly has to follow the rules. We may go by completely outdated rules of physics, but they cant let it go.

  9. What if everything was in a blackhole maybe our life is a lie and were living IN a blackhole the milky way the universe everything….What if the universe is in a blackhole but we don't know…?

  10. It's pretty awesome that the truth about black holes comes full circle — no pun intended. Perhaps we are a hologram on the cosmic horizon of our Universe that is actually the event horizon of a black hole in another holographic universe.

  11. 5:37
    "Before creation there were six singularities. And then the universe exploded into existence and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots. Infinity Stones."

  12. maybe we are already in a black hole and thats why were swirling around eachother in the universe just like atoms do… like the moon n sun… the heat.. and the atom "earth" we are the "human" atoms within it and so forth…. and because we were mixed up when we exploded out the black hole like the big bang. our atom earth ended up with water and metal moleculues and things that came from other bigger atoms such as jupiter n saturn mercury… and the big bang theory was us exploding through a black whole… after being swallowed by this black hole we are now in the stomach of it… and it repeats itself over n over till nothing at all exist forever ….or it will be everything keeps existing over n over being reaaranged again and again until everything becomes one again and then rips us up again … and thats why theres asteroids and a huge sun …. cause everything was together and information got divided and rearranged… and thats why we exist….. and also have particles and metals in our body as well that exist on other planets and stars………………….

  13. This video successfully and succinctly explained to me what the concept of information was in a physical universe. Finally I understand this notion.

    Thank you, Kurzgesagt. Keep the videos coming!

  14. Imagine that the marble sized matter that caused the Big Bang was created from the death of a super Black Hole that devour the universe…

    A never ending cycle.

  15. "A person inside a blackhole would live their normal 3d life"–wouldn't they be ripped into particles like the video said a couple minutes earlier!!!?

  16. Bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion bilion

  17. « l'enlaidissement de la page imprimée est à la hauteur de la sotte tautologie venue nier et alourdir inutilement l'évidence : les physiciennes sont nécessairement incluses dans le nombre neutre des physiciens »
    Marc fumaroli, académie française.

    Arrêtez de torturer la langue française avec cette saleté d'écriture inclusive. La théorie du genre est une insulte faite à l'humanité.

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