The black hole S-Matrix from quantum mechanics

Panagiotis Betzios, Nava Gaddam, Olga Papadoulaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We revisit the old black hole S-Matrix construction and its new partial wave expansion of 't Hooft. Inspired by old ideas from non-critical string theory \& $c=1$ Matrix Quantum Mechanics, we reformulate the scattering in terms of a quantum mechanical model\textemdash of waves scattering off inverted harmonic oscillator potentials\textemdash that exactly reproduces the unitary black hole S-Matrix for all spherical harmonics; each partial wave corresponds to an inverted harmonic oscillator with ground state energy that is shifted relative to the s-wave oscillator. Identifying a connection to 2d string theory allows us to show that there is an exponential degeneracy in how a given total initial energy may be distributed among many partial waves of the 4d black hole.
Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2016


  • Black Holes
  • M(atrix) Theories
  • Models of Quantum Gravity


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