The lifetime problem of evaporating black holes: mutiny or resignation Articles uri icon



publication date

  • February 2015


  • 3


  • 32

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0264-9381

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1361-6382


  • It is logically possible that regularly evaporating black holes (REBHs) exist in nature. In fact, the prevalent theoretical view is that these are indeed the real objects behind the curtain in astrophysical scenarios. There are several proposals for regularizing the classical singularity of black holes so that their formation and evaporation do not lead to information-loss problems. One characteristic is shared by most of these proposals: these REBHs present long-lived trapping horizons, with absolutely enormous evaporation lifetimes in whatever measure. Guided by the discomfort with these enormous and thus inaccessible lifetimes, we elaborate here on an alternative regularization of the classical singularity, previously proposed by the authors in an emergent gravity framework, which leads to a completely different scenario. In our scheme the collapse of a stellar object would result in a genuine time-symmetric bounce, which in geometrical terms amounts to the connection of a black-hole geometry with a white-hole geometry in a regular manner. The two most differential characteristics of this proposal are: (i) the complete bouncing geometry is a solution of standard classical general relativity everywhere except in a transient region that necessarily extends beyond the gravitational radius associated with the total mass of the collapsing object; and (ii) the duration of the bounce as seen by external observers is very brief (fractions of milliseconds for neutron-star-like collapses). This scenario motivates the search for new forms of stellar equilibrium different from black holes. In a brief epilogue we compare our proposal with a similar geometrical setting recently proposed by Haggard and Rovelli.


  • white holes; quantum-gravity; death; explosions