Firewalls and decoherent histories (video)

David Mark Wallace, Professor of Philosophy, USC

The black hole information-loss problem has recently returned in a new and more serious form: the ‘Firewall Paradox’, which seems to show a contradiction between (i) the highly successful model of black holes as thermal quantum systems and (ii) the quantum field theory arguments for black hole evaporation which are a primary motivation for that model. I will review the paradox from a conceptual point of view, and then explore the idea that it can be (at least partially) defused by a careful treatment of just what justifies the semiclassical arguments for black hole evaporation.