Evaporating black holes have leaky horizons or exotic atmospheres

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Classically, black holes are compact objects with perfect semi-permeable horizons: Anything may enter, nothing may leave. We consider an axiomatic approach that applies to any black hole type, including arbitrarily near-extremal black holes, that can unitarily evaporate away completely by any mechanism. We show that a quantum black hole must either have a leaky horizon (allowing quantum information out), or it must look very different from its classical counterpart having an external neighborhood consisting of exotic matter with super-ordinary entropic content (such as an `atmosphere' of microscopic black holes).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Appendices generalize the analysis to allow for arbitrary infallen matter


  • quant-ph
  • gr-qc
  • hep-th

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