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Horizons

For sheer color, you can’t do much better than a black hole event horizon. It swallows everything without a trace, but it also evaporates.…By Michael Segal

For sheer color, you can’t do much better than a black hole event horizon. It swallows everything without a trace, but it also evaporates. It may contain a wall of fire created by disentangling virtual particles. Unless it’s a fuzzball made of fundamental strings, in which case it has “hair” instead of a firewall.

The zoo of possibilities reflects the collision of two of physics’ tectonic plates: quantum mechanics and relativity. Black hole horizons stand simultaneously at the limits of the observable and the knowable. But we still try to peer inside, which may be the best bit of the whole story.

Welcome to “Horizons.”

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