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- Black Holes and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

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The theory of Quantum Mechanics requires \'completeness\', that is, we need to know the complete set of physically allowed states before we can reliably compute quantum mechanical amplitudes. Among these possible states are microscopic black holes, since they are valid solutions to Einstein\'s equations for the gravitational force. However, a quantum description of black holes requires a drastic revision of our notions of space and time, in particular if we were to accept the interpretation of their microstates as given by superstring theories. The logical foundations of our physical world view are touched upon here. A natural sounding solution of our problems here could come from a re-interpretation of what quantum mechanics really is. The first thing to dispose of should be all references to \'magic\' and \'mystery\' when dealing with quantum mechanics or string theory.

©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics