Fr.: paradoxe de l'information
A paradox raised in 1976 by S. Hawking (1942-2018) whose analysis of the thermodynamic properties of → black holes led him to the prediction that black holes are not in fact black, but radiate due to quantum effects. This implied that, due to the → Hawking radiation, a black hole would eventually evaporate away, leaving nothing. This deduction presented a problem for → quantum mechanics, which maintains that information can never be lost. This topic is a matter of intense debate. Many solutions have been proposed, but all of them have serious drawbacks. In order to analyze better these solutions one needs a quantum gravity theory, which does not exist at the moment. In brief, either the idea of → quantum unitarity must be given up, or a mechanism should be found by which information is not lost after it falls into a black hole.