Smooth horizons and quantum ripples
High Energy Physics Department, Saint Petersburg State University, Ulyanovskaya ul., d. 1, Petrodvoretz, 198504, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Accepted: 8 April 2015
Published online: 1 May 2015
Black holes are unique objects which allow for meaningful theoretical studies of strong gravity and even quantum gravity effects. An infalling and a distant observer would have very different views on the structure of the world. However, a careful analysis has shown that it entails no genuine contradictions for physics, and the paradigm of observer complementarity has been coined. Recently this picture was put into doubt. In particular, it was argued that in old black holes a firewall must form in order to protect the basic principles of quantum mechanics. This AMPS paradox has already been discussed in a vast number of papers with different attitudes and conclusions. Here we want to argue that a possible source of confusion is the neglect of quantum gravity effects. Contrary to widespread perception, it does not necessarily mean that effective field theory is inapplicable in rather smooth neighbourhoods of large black hole horizons. The real offender might be an attempt to consistently use it over the huge distances from the near-horizon zone of old black holes to the early radiation. We give simple estimates to support this viewpoint and show how the Page time and (somewhat more speculative) scrambling time do appear.
© SIF and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2015