Can we understand the black hole information paradox by studying its history?

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2016

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Abstract

This is one of a pair of papers that give a historical-cum-philosophical analysis of the endeavour to understand black hole entropy as a statistical mechanical entropy obtained by counting string-theoretic microstates. Both papers focus on Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa's ground-breaking 1996 calculation, which analysed the black hole in terms of D-branes. The first paper gives a conceptual analysis of the Strominger-Vafa argument, and of several research efforts that it engendered. In this paper, we assess whether the black hole should be considered as emergent from the d-brane system, particularly in light of the role that duality plays in the argument. We further identify uses of the quantum-to-classical correspondence principle in string theory discussions of black holes, and compare these to the heuristics of earlier efforts in theory construction, in particular those of the old quantum theory.

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contemporary, modern physics, theoretical physics

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Downstream publication: van Dongen, Jeroen & de Haro, Sebastian. (2020) "Emergence and correspondence for string theory black holes." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 69, 112-127.

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