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Classical Black Holes Are Hot

Curiel, Erik (2014) Classical Black Holes Are Hot. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In the early 1970s it is was realized that there is a striking
formal analogy between the Laws of black-hole mechanics and the Laws
of classical thermodynamics. Before the discovery of Hawking
radiation, however, it was generally thought that the analogy was
only formal, and did not reflect a deep connection between
gravitational and thermodynamical phenomena. It is still commonly
held that the surface gravity of a stationary black hole can be
construed as a true physical temperature and its area as a true
entropy only when quantum effects are taken into account; in the
context of classical general relativity alone, one cannot cogently
construe them so. Does the use of quantum field theory in curved
spacetime offer the only hope for taking the analogy seriously? I
think the answer is `no'. To attempt to justify that answer, I
shall begin by arguing that the standard argument to the contrary is
not physically well founded, and in any event begs the question.
Looking at the various ways that the ideas of ``temperature'' and
``entropy'' enter classical thermodynamics then will suggest
arguments that, I claim, show the analogy between classical
black-hole mechanics and classical thermodynamics should be taken
more seriously, without the need to rely on or invoke quantum
mechanics. In particular, I construct an analogue of a Carnot cycle
in which a black hole ``couples'' with an ordinary thermodynamical
system in such a way that its surface gravity plays the role of
temperature and its area that of entropy. Thus, the connection
between classical general relativity and classical thermodynamics on
their own is already deep and physically significant, independent of
quantum mechanics.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Curiel, Erikerik@strangebeautiful.com
Keywords: black holes thermodynamics general relativity
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Dr. Erik Curiel
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2014 18:42
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2014 19:01
Item ID: 10956
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10956

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