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Alexander Kruchkov and the challenging task of designing black hole holograms

25.01.2021 17:00

Branco Weiss Fellow Alexander Kruchkov has written an article for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings explaining his current research project: bringing black holes to the lab. “Astrophysical black holes are too remote to probe the quantum gravity effects. To test fundamental quantum processes at the event horizons, we might need to roll our sleeves, and go downstairs to the lab”, Kruchkov writes.

In recent years, researchers have shown that black holes have a temperature (the so-called Hawking temperature), determined by their surface gravity, as well as entropy (Bekenstein-Hawking entropy), proportional to the quarter of their surface. Especially the latter fact indicates that the relevant physics of black holes is of lower dimension. This calls for the use of a concept of dimensional reduction in quantum gravity, known as “the holographical principle”, Kruchkov goes on. The principle allows to take a gravitational theory for a three-dimensional black hole and project it on a two-dimensional theory with strong interactions but no gravity – the result is a hologram of a Black Hole.

In order to build such a hologram, special elements are needed: low dimensional materials (such as graphene), robust flat bands and carefully engineered shapes on the scales of a few dozen nanometers. And observing and exploring the holographic black hole is another difficult task that needs several engineering tasks and optimizations to be addressed. But Alexander Kruchkov remains optimistic: “The task is challenging, however it’s not something impossible: It is within the reach of modern quantum matter techniques, if enough efforts are invested.”

Read the article on the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings website