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

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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.



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.