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The Physics of Black Hole Interiors

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, October 5, 2012 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Andrew Hamilton

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, UCB
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

What really happens inside astronomically realistic black holes? Using a real-time interactive Black Hole Flight Simulator, I will illustrate how thermodynamics and holography yield an answer to what must happen at singularities, even without a final theory of quantum gravity. In rotating black holes, however, Planck-scale physics is encountered first not at a central singularity, but rather in the inflationary instability at the inner horizon discovered by Poisson & Israel in 1990. The inflationary instability acts like a gravity-powered particle accelerator of extraordinary power, accelerating ingoing and outgoing streams through each other to energies that, if quantum gravity did not intervene, would exponentially exceed the Planck energy. What does nature do with this fantastic machine?