The Statistical Mechanics of Horizons and Black Hole Thermodynamics

Research paper by S. Carlip

Indexed on: 26 Mar '96Published on: 26 Mar '96Published in: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


Although we know that black holes are characterized by a temperature and an entropy, we do not yet have a satisfactory microscopic ``statistical mechanical'' explanation for black hole thermodynamics. I describe a new approach that attributes the thermodynamic properties to ``would-be gauge'' degrees of freedom that become dynamical on the horizon. For the (2+1)-dimensional black hole, this approach gives the correct entropy. (Talk given at the Pacific Conference on Gravitation and Cosmology, Seoul, February 1996.)