Given only a tiny knowledge of all things quantum (pun semi-intended), I understand the location of sub-atomic particles to be neither “here” nor “there”, but simply to have a probability of being in any one place at any time. The probability is high where they most likely are (rather obvious), and trails off the further out you go. Therefore, if there was a mass in stable orbit around a black hole, it would appear that from time to time, probabilistically speaking, some of the sub-atomic particles would cross the event horizon. Therefore would the mass eventually disappear into the black hole? I’m not talking about the spaghettification of being dragged in, but of sub-atomic particles probabilistically crossing the event horizon and therefore not being able to “return” to where they were “more likely” located. If you want to have some device inside the event horizon measuring their location in order to collapse the wave function and “solidify” the location, you could do that. It seems that given a long enough time horizon, we are all going to cross the event horizon.

Is it possible to pull something out of a black hole?

Ethan Siegel

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