Multipartite Entanglement and Firewalls

Research paper by Shengqiao Luo, Henry Stoltenberg, Andreas Albrecht

Indexed on: 08 Nov '16Published on: 08 Nov '16Published in: arXiv - General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


Black holes offer an exciting area to explore the nature of quantum gravity. The classic work on Hawking radiation indicates that black holes should decay via quantum effects, but our ideas about how this might work at a technical level are incomplete. Recently Almheiri-Marolf-Polchinski-Sully (AMPS) have noted an apparent paradox in reconciling fundamental properties of quantum mechanics with standard beliefs about black holes. One way to resolve the paradox is to postulate the existence of a "firewall" inside the black hole horizon which prevents objects from falling smoothly toward the singularity. A fundamental limitation on the behavior of quantum entanglement known as "monogamy" plays a key role in the AMPS argument. Our goal is to study and apply many-body entanglement theory to consider the entanglement among different parts of Hawking radiation and black holes. Using the multipartite entanglement measure called negativity, we identify an example which could change the AMPS accounting of quantum entanglement and perhaps eliminate the need for a firewall. Specifically, we constructed a toy model for black hole decay which has different entanglement behavior than that assumed by AMPS. We discuss the additional steps that would be needed to bring lessons from our toy model to our understanding of realistic black holes.