When matter falls past the horizon of a large black hole, the expectation from string theory is that the configuration thermalizes and the information in the probe is rather quickly scrambled away. The traditional view of a classical unique spacetime near a black hole horizon conflicts with this picture. The question then arises as to what spacetime does the probe actually see as it crosses a horizon, and how does the background geometry imprint its signature onto the thermal properties of the probe. In this work, we explore these questions through an extensive series of numerical simulations of D0 branes. We determine that the D0 branes quickly settle into an incompressible symmetric state—thermalized within a few oscillations through a process driven entirely by internal nonlinear dynamics. Surprisingly, thermal background fluctuations play no role in this mechanism. Signatures of the background fields in this thermal state arise either through fluxes, i.e. black hole hair; or if the probe expands to the size of the horizon—which we see evidence of. We determine simple scaling relations for the D0 branes’ equilibrium size, time to thermalize, lifetime, and temperature in terms of their number, initial energy, and the background fields. Our results are consistent with the conjecture that black holes are the fastest scramblers as seen by matrix theory.
© 2012 American Physical Society
Paul Riggins and Vatche Sahakian. "Black hole thermalization, D0 brane dynamics, and emergent spacetime." Phys. Rev. D 86, 046005 (2012). doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.86.046005
This article is also available from the American Physical Society at http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevD.86.046005.