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  1. We study the Hilbert space structure of classical spacetimes under the assumption that entanglement in holographic theories determines semiclassical geometry. We show that this simple assumption has profound implications; for example, a superposition of classical spacetimes may lead to another classical spacetime. Despite its unconventional nature, this picture admits the standard interpretation of superpositions of well-defined semiclassical spacetimes in the limit that the number of holographic degrees of freedom becomes large. We illustrate these ideas using a model for the holographic theory of cosmological spacetimes.
  2. The firewall paradox for black holes is often viewed as indicating a conflict between unitarity and the equivalence principle. We elucidate how the paradox manifests as a limitation of semiclassical theory, rather than presents a conflict between fundamental principles. Two principal features of the fundamental and semiclassical theories address two versions of the paradox: the entanglement and typicality arguments. First, the physical Hilbert space describing excitations on a fixed black hole background in the semiclassical theory is exponentially smaller than the number of physical states in the fundamental theory of quantum gravity. Second, in addition to the Hilbert space formore » physical excitations, the semiclassical theory possesses an unphysically large Fock space built by creation and annihilation operators on the fixed black hole background. Understanding these features not only eliminates the necessity of firewalls but also leads to a new picture of Hawking emission contrasting pair creation at the horizon.« less

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