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Black Holes: Does Information Survive?

Why should Hawking and Susskind get all the fun?
Forget what Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind have previously theorized, do you believe the information that is sucked in a black hole survives or is it somehow preserved and explain?

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    Jul 23 2011: Yes I also believe that information survives in a black hole, but I believe that it is packed down, as String Theory suggests, to an almost infinite space. All the information is stored and at the end of the universe, also suggested by String Theory and Neil Menzie down there, all the black holes come together to make a super massive black hole that explodes and creates a new universe. That is my favorite theory.
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    Aug 1 2011: We should get to have some fun too! To start, here are my thoughts.

    If by information you mean a recognized state of a particle(s), then no. Once matter or energy enters the black hole, it has effectively been destroyed. Note the effectively. Black holes dissipate, very very slowly. And thus nothing gets destroyed, just held onto for a little while. So if by information you mean the amount of energy that went into the black hole, then yes, that is preserved. But once released, that energy is in a vastly different form then when it entered. Furthermore, as the black holes evaporate quite slowly, something like 1*10^100 years, that energy will not be fully released until long after life ceases to exist. So if by information you mean a useful and controllable state of matter or energy that can be used to indicate an abstract idea or refer to some specific datum through our subjective understanding of that state, then no. Black holes are quite effective information obliterators.
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    Jul 19 2011: I also wanted to add that String Theory goes with your theory saying that the big bang didn't create the universe but it was a super massive black hole that reached its maximum density and expanded to create our universe. That theory only works if black holes are not infinitely small and dense. Where Einsteins Theory of Relativity suggests black holes are both infinitely small and dense. So its you and String Theory against Albert Einstein.
    • Jul 23 2011: Do excuse me, I do like to ask. Since the Universe is formed by a super massive black hole as stated by the aforementioned theory here..... If I am not mistaken, anything dense, pulls rather than to expand = the universe is not created.
  • Jul 23 2011: Information is indestructible. It will survive a black hole. The trick is putting it back together again. One atom will increase the gravitational field of a black hole once it is consumed. The spin of the black hole will also be changed. We can then calculate the mass and rotation of the atom. The tricky part is accurate measurement and recording the billions of trillions of atoms being absorbed simultaneously. The information survives but good luck getting it and putting it together. A black hole is not an information sink, it is an information blender.
  • Jul 23 2011: To my opinion, I do believe that information does survive. From a documentary that I had caught on in the internet (forgive me as I have forgotten the title) it is said that black holes are like plugholes in the basin or the bathtub, where everything has its destination, only that the objects will be reduced to atomic size particles in the blackhole itself. However, the destination is still inabsolute. Only one is destination theorized and that is the 'FUTURE'. Correct me if I am ever wrong. I love this topic and I wish to learn more from all of you. Thanks.

    If any of you would like to discuss on whether any information survives in a blackhole, do read the book:
  • Jul 21 2011: My greetings to you, fellow Wichitan!
    Neils' response reminds me of a video I've seen here on TED (can't remember the title). What I remember from that video is that black holes ARE the new universes, which would answer your questions.
    Essentially the idea is that only universes that have the right conditions to produce black holes will "reproduce", leading to a sort of Universal Evolution. While this theory is extremely interesting, I personally like the Universe from Nothing theory better- the idea that new universes are constantly created in empty space through quantum fluctuations.
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      Jul 21 2011: It is an interesting theory however I wouldn't stand behind it. And don't believe that quantum fluctuations can create a universe. This is only my opinion on the matter, but String Theory makes more sense to me.
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    Jul 19 2011: So your theory is that black holes are the recycling entities of our universe. That when our universe can no longer support the stars within it the black holes unite to create a super massive black hole to recreate the universe but most likely with different properties.- I think I gotcha

    However I have a few questions:
    1. How do all the black holes come together when the stars are burned out? because by that time the universe will have expanded by such a vast length that the gravity that exerts from all the black holes will be entirely to weak to unite them all together.
    2. Are suggesting by your theory that black holes live forever until they all come together again? Because of the existence of Hawking Radiation, which is the radiation that is emitted from a black hole, in the end kills a black hole. As the radiation is emitted the black hole shrinks and the more the black hole shirks the more radiation it lets out until the black hole radiates itself out of existence. However this process is extremely slow.
    3. How is the universe created from the super massive black hole? does it implode to create the new universe? and if not then what happens to the super massive black hole once the new universe is created?

    I think that this is a fantastic theory, I was just wanting a few empty spots (black holes if you will) filled in.
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    Jul 19 2011: I love this post, 'cause I have an idea that I have no idea even how to begin to prove as I am not a physicist....

    I believe that information can survive in Black Holes. I think that our Universe (U) came out of a Super Massive Black Hole from a previous incarnation (X) of our Universe. If there was a way for us to travel to X and survive the last few Hundred thouseand years, we would see Super Massive Black Holes dancing around each other, falling into each other, creating even bigger Black Holes. Eventually there will be only one left, and at that moment of singularity, U was created. I believe U is made up of bits of information from X, but with different properties. X may or may not have supported life, as it was not arranged as or had the same properties as U. X could have, and by this hypothesis, did have a parent universe as well, just like X was for U. This parent had slightly different properties than X, and therefore U as well. A form of Universal Evolution if you will.

    As with evolution, it is survival of the fittest and in Universal terms, a universe could have collapsed on itself and created a new singularity within milliseconds. Our Universe has been around about 13.75 Billion Years, so I think in evolutionary terms, we've stumbled into a stable mutation, like the Crocodile, Sharks, or Dinosaurs here on Earth. As we have learned from the Dinosaurs, even stable mutations can have an unfortunate end. Ours might not be for another few Million years if we're lucky or smart, but the Universe will be around until all the Stars burn out, and all the Black Holes collect and brings about new light.