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Spooky Paradox: What Happens When You Fall Into A Black Hole?

Sunday, June 2, 2013
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

What happens when you fall into a black hole? Einstein’s General Relativity established that there would be no physical effect marking the location of the black hole’s edge. Recent results have pitted this nearly century old scientific dogma against the basic equations of quantum mechanics, with some suggesting that black holes are actually surrounded by firewalls that would instantly incinerate any cosmological explorer. Join a discussion at the cutting-edge, as physicists struggle to determine which of their long-cherished principles may have to be abandoned.

The World Science Festival’s annual salon series offers in-depth conversations with leading scientists, extending the discussion of the Festival’s premiere public programs to graduate students, postdocs, faculty and well-informed members of the general public.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


Raphael BoussoPhysicist

Raphael Bousso is recognized for discovering the general relation between the curved geometry of space-time and its information content, known as the “covariant entropy bound.” This allowed for a precise and general formulation of the holographic principle, which is believed to underlie the unification of quantum theory and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

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Juan MaldacenaPhysicist

Juan Maldacena is the Carl P. Feinberg Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has made numerous ground-breaking contributions to theoretical physics, …

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Massimo PorratiPhysicist

Massimo Porrati is a professor of physics, and a member of the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, at New York University. His major research interests are string theory, supersymmetry and supergravity, nonperturbative aspects of strings and quantum field theory, and cosmology.

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