Quantum Black Holes Challenge Basic Principles of Quantum Mechanics

Ramy Brustein

Department of Physics ,Ben-Gurion University

Bekenstein discovered that Black Holes have entropy proportional to the area of their horizon and Hawking discovered that Quantum Black Holes radiate. Ever since, the ongoing quest for understanding the fundamental laws that govern the physics of Black Holes has attracted and puzzled many researchers. The main motivation for the undying theoretical interest is the hints that black holes provide for the necessity of making basic changes in the laws of quantum mechanics.

I will first review and explain some basic facts about the thermodynamics of quantum black holes and the puzzles and paradoxes that their existence apparently implies. I will discuss some of the proposed resolutions and some of the lessons that string theory and the AdS/CFT correspondence have taught us.

Then I will present my (still controversial) approach to understanding Quantum Black Holes: the entanglement approach. This approach considers the fundamental physical objects to be the global quantum state of the black hole and the unitary quantum evolution operator. This entanglement approach has several obvious advantages: it leads naturally to area-law entropy and it can incorporate the observer dependence of black hole thermodynamics. It also has some unresolved issues and open problems.