Gravity / Quantum Physics / Quantum Physics


The Black Hole Information Paradox

Imagine the Earth gets swallowed by a black hole. Then, like all black holes, this one slowly evaporates away as particles radiate from its event horizon, until—poof—there’s nothing left.

What happens to everything that has fallen in? Has it just been deleted from the universe? Could information somehow escape from behind the event horizon? Or did it never truly fall in in the first place?

Ultimately, no one knows—and each one of these three unlikely answers breaks physics as we know it.

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Greg Kestin

    Greg Kestin holds a faculty position at Harvard University, where he conducts theoretical physics research, teaches, and produces educational online content. He earned his physics Ph.D. from Harvard, as a member of The Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, focusing on theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. Over his career, he has also conducted research in nuclear physics, fusion energy, and gravitational wave physics. For over a decade he has been involved with innovative educational outreach endeavors, bringing science to both students and members of the public through his writings, videos, lectures, and multimedia.

    Samia Bouzid

    Samia Bouzid is a multimedia storyteller with a passion for science, especially physics. She is a production assistant for NOVA’s YouTube series “What the Physics?!”