Director, ICTP, Trieste, ITALY

Quantum black holes: an encounter between Hawking and Ramanujan

Host: L. Banks

Black holes are an astonishing prediction of Einstein’s general relativity with bizarre causal and quantum properties. Hawking discovered that, in quantum theory, a black hole is not really black but is slowly emitting radiation. Understanding the implication of Hawking radiation has proved to be a very valuable guide in our search to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics and to learn about the quantum structure of spacetime.

Explorations of quantum black holes in string theory have led to unexpected connections with the mathematical structures created by the great Indian mathematician Ramanujan from a century ago. In this lecture I will describe the fascinating history, physics and mathematics of quantum black holes.


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