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Are black holes about information?

Wuthrich, Christian (2017) Are black holes about information? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Information theory is increasingly invoked by physicists concerned with fundamental physics, including black hole physics. But to what extent is the application of information theory in those contexts legitimate? Using the case of black hole thermodynamics and Bekenstein's celebrated argument for the entropy of black holes, I will argue that information-theoretic notions are problematic in the present case. Bekenstein's original argument, as suggestive as it may appear, thus fails. This example is particularly pertinent to the theme of the present collection because the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for black hole entropy is widely accepted as 'empirical data' in notoriously empirically deprived quantum gravity, even though the laws of black hole thermodynamics have so far evaded empirical confirmation.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Wuthrich, Christianchristian.wuthrich@unige.ch0000-0001-8774-6160
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Richard Dawid, Radin Dardashti, and Karim Th├ębault (eds.), Epistemology of Fundamental Physics, Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: black holes; black hole thermodynamics; entropy; Bekenstein; quantum gravity; non-empirical methods
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Christian Wuthrich
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 15:39
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 15:39
Item ID: 13459
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 20 September 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13459

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