Infinite Garbage Can

String theorist Vijay Balasubramanian grapples with the garbage cans of the universe: black holes. His research on particle physics at the University of Pennsylvania and The City University of New York Graduate Center questions the apparent loss of information in the presence of black holes. This work is just one aspect of his impressively broad range of pursuits, which span from the structure of spacetime to the cognitive “sense of place” in the human mind. In the following edited interview, Balasubramanian tells Nautilus why black holes might not be the infinite information sink they’re made out to be.

What is a black hole?
If you have enough matter concentrated in a

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