Wallace, David (2017) The Case for Black Hole Thermodynamics, Part II: Statistical Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract
I present in detail the case for regarding black hole thermodynamics as having a statisticalmechanical explanation in exact parallel with the statisticalmechanical explanation believed to underly the thermodynamics of other systems. (Here I presume that black holes are indeed thermodynamic systems in the fullest sense; I review the evidence for \emph{that} conclusion in the prequel to this paper.) I focus on three lines of argument: (i) zeroloop and oneloop calculations in quantum general relativity understood as a quantum field theory, using the pathintegral formalism; (ii) calculations in string theory of the leadingorder terms, higherderivative corrections, and quantum corrections, in the black hole entropy formula for extremal and nearextremal black holes; (iii) recovery of the qualitative and (in some cases) quantitative structure of black hole statistical mechanics via the AdS/CFT correspondence. In each case I briefly review the content of, and arguments for, the form of quantum gravity being used (effective field theory; string theory; AdS/CFT) at a (relatively) introductory level: the paper is aimed at students and nonspecialists and does not presume advanced knowledge of quantum gravity.. My conclusion is that the evidence for black hole statistical mechanics is as solid as we could reasonably expect it to be in the absence of a directlyempiricallyverified theory of quantum gravity.
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Item Type:  Preprint  

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Keywords:  quantum gravity, black holes, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics 

Depositing User:  Professor David Wallace  
Date Deposited:  08 Oct 2017 23:59  
Last Modified:  08 Oct 2017 23:59  
Item ID:  13524  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Gravity Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics 

Date:  October 2017  
URI:  https://philsciarchivedev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13524 
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