Interactions and the Consistency of Black Hole Complementarity

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):371-386 (2011)
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Abstract

Presentations of black hole complementarity by van Dongen and de Haro, as well as by 't Hooft, suffer from a mistaken claim that interactions between matter falling into a black hole and the emitted Hawking-like radiation should lead to a failure of commutativity between space-like-related observables localized inside and outside the black hole. I show that this conclusion is not supported by our standard understanding of quantum interactions. We have no reason to believe that near-horizon interactions will threaten microcausality. If these interactions reliably transfer information to the outgoing radiation, then this response to Hawking's information loss argument should amount to a version of the bleaching scenario. I argue that the challenge facing black hole complementarity is that of reconciling this commitment to bleaching with the expectation that the event horizon will be locally unremarkable. This challenge is most promisingly met by proposals that postulate a consistent account of the limitations of our local semi-classical theories, but no support is added to these postulates by appeals to verificationism or to the interactions considered by 't Hooft.

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Peter Bokulich
University of Notre Dame

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References found in this work

Quantum Dialogue: The Making of a Revolution.Mara Beller - 1999 - University of Chicago Press.
Quantum Mechanics and Experience.[author unknown] - 1994 - Erkenntnis 40 (3):403-406.
Niels Bohr’s Generalization of Classical Mechanics.Peter Bokulich - 2005 - Foundations of Physics 35 (3):347-371.

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