Black Holes Eat Your Branes!

I love black holes, those weird and wonderful creatures of General Relativity. Now they’ve just gotten more weird and wonderful.

Suppose our four dimensional spacetime to be embedded in higher dimensions. Cosmologists and topologists dance with these ideas routinely. We call a two-dimensional slice of a three-dimensional space a “plane.” They call a 4-dimensional slice of a higher dimensional space a “brane.”

The shortest possible distance between two points is called a “geodesic.” A geodesic in a 4-d brane need not correspond to the geodesic of 5 or higher space.

Now throw a black hole into your brane. In our comfortable 4-d spacetime, nothing can escape, not even information. But in 5 space, there may be a geodesic connecting a region inside the black hole with space outside it and –ta-da! — information can leak out.

This might solve a long-standing conundrum in arcane physics. All information should, in theory, be recoverable. But information which drops into a black hole would seem to be lost forever.

Now, maybe not.

From the point of view of a 5-d observer, that would be a simple connection. But from our point of view –and here be the monsters–  that would be faster-than-light communication, with all the paradoxes that implies.

Like I said, more weird, more wonderful. More here: Cosmologists Discover How Black Holes Can Leak  – Technology Review

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