A secret tunnel through the horizon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

278 Scopus citations


Hawking radiation is often intuitively visualized as particles that have tunneled across the horizon. Yet, at first sight, it is not apparent where the barrier is. Here I show that the barrier depends on the tunneling particle itself. The key is to implement energy conservation, so that the black hole contracts during the process of radiation. A direct consequence is that the radiation spectrum cannot be strictly thermal. The correction to the thermal spectrum is of precisely the form that one would expect from an underlying unitary quantum theory. This may have profound implications for the black hole information puzzle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2351-2354
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics D
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Black holes
  • Hawking radiation
  • Quantum gravity
  • Tunneling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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