Holographic description of a quantum black hole on a computer

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Science  23 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6186, pp. 882-885
DOI: 10.1126/science.1250122

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Black holes have been predicted to radiate particles and eventually evaporate, which has led to the information loss paradox and implies that the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics may be violated. Superstring theory, a consistent theory of quantum gravity, provides a possible solution to the paradox if evaporating black holes can actually be described in terms of standard quantum mechanical systems, as conjectured from the theory. Here, we test this conjecture by calculating the mass of a black hole in the corresponding quantum mechanical system numerically. Our results agree well with the prediction from gravity theory, including the leading quantum gravity correction. Our ability to simulate black holes offers the potential to further explore the yet mysterious nature of quantum gravity through well-established quantum mechanics.

Confirming cosmic dual conjecture

Quantum mechanics and gravity can seem to contradict each other. Superstring theory may provide a route to reconcile the two, thanks to the gauge/gravity duality conjecture, which allows the system to be described mathematically. However, this conjecture has yet to be formally confirmed. Hanada et al. (see the Perspective by Maldacena) performed a simulation of the dual gauge theory in the parameter regime that corresponds to a quantum black hole. Their results agree with a prediction for an evaporating black hole, including quantum gravity corrections, confirming that the dual gauge theory indeed provides a complete description of the quantum nature of the evaporating black hole.

Science, this issue p. 882; see also p. 806.

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