Sunday, June 2, 2019

Wormholes are not entangled black holes

Lubos Motl has posted this rant against a prominent complexity theorist:
Let me simplify it. He is extremely skeptical of the ER-EPR correspondence because the wormholes belong to general relativity, entanglement belong to quantum mechanics, these are different theories, so the objects must be different, too! Ingenious. ER=EPR was disproven. End of story. Or is it? ...

In quantum gravity, there may be Einstein-Rosen bridges (non-traversable wormholes) and when they're there, the have the exact same effect on all observers and couples of observers as entangled black hole pairs. When they walk like a duck (an entangled black hole pair), quack like one, and so on, they are a duck. ...

Many laymen were trained to parrot and indefinitely repeat some completely wrong slogans such as "string theory is not even wrong because it's not falsifiable". ...

When I was an undergrad, instructors were generally teaching us that when a famous scientist associates himself with some extremely wrong statements, he loses his name, image, credibility, and often his job, too. I think that the times have changed and the expectations of the institutionalized science have dramatically weakened. ...
I agree with his last point. Today, famous scientists associate themselves with crackpot causes all the time, with no noticeable loss to their status.

String theory does not make any testable predictions. Wormholes do not exist. Entangled black holes do not exist. These nonexistent things are not even related.

By "quantum gravity", he does not mean the perfectly good theories we have today, and which predict every known situation where gravity might be quantized. He means "consistent" quantum gravity, which is some hypothetical theory that no one has ever found and could never be tested, but would explain the center singularity of a black hole and the first nanosecond of the big bang.

Lumo doesn't argue that there is any empirical merit to any of these ideas. Instead, he cites super-smart big-shot physicists who have published many 1000s of papers citing these ideas, and implies that critics are not smart enough to understand them.

Much of theoretical physics has become like comic books in the Marvel universe. Wild fantasies that have no bearing on reality.


  1. Thanks, Roger, for writing this post, and also for many, many other posts, too. ... No, you don't always understand everything in every context, but you never do fail to give it a try---I mean, understanding. I appreciate this part of your postings. And I do, to the extent that I often bother writing my comments here. (Which, I must say, you let me post, without having to go through too many hoops. Thanks. Anyway...)

    Personally, I don't know how to counter the large h-Index phenomenon either. I simply paddle the boat I am in---and have always chosen to be in. Sometimes, I am even thankful for statements coming from professional physicists like: ``whatever floats your boat, man!'' I tend to take it as an encouragement, though the sentiment could be along the opposite lines within an eigenvalue dimension.


    Hmmm... Let's close this one right away. But thanks, anyway...



  2. He's just a crank, which is a grumpy crackpot.