Black holes may share properties of superconductors, according to a presentation at the American Physical Society by Physicist Sreenath Kizhakkumpurath Manikandan.
Building on a 1974 observation by Stephen Hawking that black holes slowly evaporate over time, scientists have tried to answer the question left behind. When the black hole evaporates, where does the information go? Manikandan and colleague Andrew Jordan may have established some new insight.
Known as the Andreev reflection, electrons travel through a metal and meet a superconductor. The incoming electron carries a quantum property known as spin, and pairs up with another electron in the material to form a “Cooper” pair.
The Cooper pair allows electrons to glide through the material, and the original electron picks up its partner, leaving behind an electron alter ego that reflects back into the metal. The disturbance in a material is the “hole” that occurs when an electron is missing, and the hole moves through the metal like a particle, carrying the information contained in the original particle’s spin.
While superconductors might not be 100% correct, it could still clear up some information.
“That’s something you can’t ever do with black holes,” says Jordan. “You can’t do those detailed experiments because they’re off in the middle of some galaxy somewhere.”