Everyday entropy: the big exclusion

Bose-Einstein Condensate Interference

Black holes lose mass by radiating photons or particles From outside of the event horizon. They do not lose particles that have fallen in. They may eventually evaporate into nothing, but the particles that have fallen into the black hole are still there, they just have no mass. This would be impossible outside of a black hole, but in a black hole it makes sense for a number of reasons. First, nothing can oscillate in a black hole.  Momentum only exists relative to the constant speed of light, and light in a black hole can’t go outward. A particle can only oscillate inward, so it’s wave function flattens out, and it immediately freezes to absolute zero. It’s information isn’t lost but flattened on the boundary of the event horizon. There is also no vacuum energy. This only makes sense if there is no space inside the event horizon; the particles are not so much compressed to a point as frozen to absolute zero, where their mass means nothing and their position is delocalised (as in a Bose-Einstein condensate).  All of the particles behave as one composite particle with their information distributed on the horizon. Presumably, after evaporation, the collective mass of the black hole would be so small that its gravity could no longer maintain the event horizon and the composite would reemerge as a number of particles far greater than statistically allowed in the space provided.  With nothing holding space at bay, the bosonic compound particles would revert to fermions subject to Pauli exclusion. You can imagine the chain reaction if a black hole equal to the number of particles in the known universe lost enough mass to become a momentum-less Bose-Einstein condensate. The momentum generated by the decomposition of bosonic compounds into fermions would look something like the big bang.  Not only that, but the initial expansion would be essentially immediate, exceeding the speed of light.  In the same way that a black hole appears fully formed at the moment of its creation, the exclusion would have not have been fast so much as sudden. Cosmological inflation would be a function of space reintroduced to particles and information, rather than a very big force of inflation, and it would have been perfectly flat.

This freaks me out because it resolves both the black hole information paradox and cosmic inflation without introducing new or exotic physics.  All of the information in the universe came from the big bang, and will go into a black hole, and then come out again.

Niels Bohr clearly saw that quantum mechanics involved two things in opposition, not one thing being observed, but he couldn’t tease apart information, position, and the map that made them observable.  The final proof of the reality of information, the Delft experiment, didn’t come until 2015, so you can see how it was very difficult to appreciate the distinction between information and mapping at the time.  You just have to marvel at his bedrock belief in the complementary nature of momentum and position.

Part of the problem is that we think in maps, and we think of the map of the information as the information itself.  Letters on a page are maps.  A circuit board is a map: the gates may encode bits of information, but their relative location with respect to other gates is what makes those bits useful, and together they make a map that can be used either to remember information or process it through an algorithm.  The real information is unstable and transient, so the map can’t be avoided, but it is important to remember that the map is a blend of information and location, not pure information.  Quantum mechanics shows unequivocally that information is real and conservative, but Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle shows that it can’t be stored or studied without blending it into a physical map.

To understand why information is meaningless without location, and why mapping is so significant for us, – entropic, physical bodies depend on desire food, sex and comfort – you have to remember that the information in a particle doesn’t care whether it is in the middle of an orange or the middle of the sun.  Since a quark and an electron need no physical space, they don’t feel squeezed by their proximity to other particles, they just pass information back and forth.  The information is conserved whether it is conserved in an orange or a neutron star.  The holographic universe is real and true, but it doesn’t tell us where to find a ripe orange, so it just isn’t helpful.

But it’s real, and it doesn’t need to be “saved” or imprinted on the boundary of the universe or on the particles with which it is associated. If the particles in a black hole are essentially cooled to absolute zero, their mass is stored on the event horizon until it evaporates. But since their information is still in the universe, they can take it back when they decohere. It doesn’t matter that the information will attach to different particles from the ones it came in on. That happens to Bose Einstein condensates and any other entangled particles. The information paradox is just a very long wait.

Mach’s principle may also reduce to the fact that all inertia originated with the big bang (or big exclusion), so no inertial frames exist independent of the large structures that now exist.  Mach’s principle is a great thought experiment, but look at it practically and it evaporates.  It is impossible to begin rotating without a heavy body to supply an inertial frame and block. If no inertial frame is privileged, then no inertial frame is independent either, as independence would bestow that inertial frame with privilege.  But Mach’s principle also has implications for isolationism and sustainability.  No nation on earth can define itself in isolation, nor commit to the sustainability of the planet with a closed border or a foreign policy that is inconsistent with its domestic policy.  It is impossible to develop a framework for sustainability while refugees are imprisoned in squalor.  At some point they will escape, and when they do they may retain an instinctive sense of humanity but no philosophical concept of mercy.


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