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Black Holes May Hide a Mind-Bending Secret About Our Universe


“We should give you the chance to influence the inside of one in all these black holes by ‘tickling’ its radiation, and thereby sending a message to the within the black hole,” he said in a 2017 interview with Quanta. He added, “It sounds crazy.”

Ahmed Almheiri, a physicist at N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi, noted recently that by manipulating radiation that had escaped a black hole, he could create a cat inside that black hole. “I can do something with the particles radiating from the black hole, and suddenly a cat goes to seem within the black hole,” he said.

He added, “All of us need to get used to this.”

The metaphysical turmoil got here to a head in 2019. That yr two groups of theorists made detailed calculations showing that information leaking through wormholes would match the pattern predicted by Dr. Page. One paper was by Geoff Penington, now on the University of California, Berkeley. And the opposite was by Netta Engelhardt of M.I.T.; Don Marolf of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Henry Maxfield, now at Stanford University; and Dr. Almheiri. The 2 groups published their papers on the identical day.

“And so the ultimate moral of the story is, in case your theory of gravity includes wormholes, then you definitely get information coming out,” Dr. Penington said. “If it doesn’t include wormholes, then presumably you don’t get information coming out.”

He added, “Hawking didn’t include wormholes, and we’re including wormholes.”

Not everybody has signed on to this theory. And testing it’s a challenge, since particle accelerators will probably never be powerful enough to supply black holes within the lab for study, although several groups of experimenters hope to simulate black holes and wormholes in quantum computers.

And even when this physics seems to be accurate, Dr. Mermin’s magic does have a very important limit: Neither wormholes nor entanglement can transmit a message, much less a human, faster than the speed of sunshine. A lot for time travel. The weirdness only becomes apparent after the very fact, when two scientists compare their observations and discover that they match — a process that involves classical physics, which obeys the speed limit set by Einstein.

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