Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Astrophysics: Fire in the hole!

A Correction to this article was published on 10 April 2013

This article has been updated

Will an astronaut who falls into a black hole be crushed or burned to a crisp?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Change history

  • 05 April 2013

    This story originally gave the wrong affiliation for Ted Jacobson — he is at the University of Maryland in College Park not in Baltimore. The text has now been corrected.


  1. Almheiri, A., Marolf, D., Polchinski, J. & Sully, J. Preprint at (2012).

  2. Hawking, S. W. Nature 248, 30–31 (1974).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Bekenstein, J. D. Phys. Rev. D 7, 2333–2346 (1973).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  4. Susskind, L. J. Math. Phys. 36, 6377 (1995).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  5. Stephens, C. R., ’ t Hooft, G. & Whiting, B. F. Class. Quant. Grav. 11, 621–647 (1994).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Maldacena, J. M. Adv. Theor. Math. Phys. 2, 231–252 (1998).

    Article  ADS  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  7. Marolf, D. Phys. Rev. D 79, 044010 (2009).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Susskind, L. Preprint at (2012).

  9. Harlow, D. & Hayden, P. Preprint at (2013).

  10. Giddings, S. B. Preprint at (2013).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

See Editorial page 5

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Against the law 2013-Apr-03

Astrophysics: Going supernova 2013-Feb-06

Astrophysics: Two black holes found in a star cluster 2012-Oct-03

Collaborative physics: String theory finds a bench mate 2011-Oct-19

Can information get back out of black holes? 2008-May-16

Hawking changes his mind about black holes 2004-Jul-15

Blogpost: NuSTAR spies black holes in galactic web

Blogpost: Record-breaking black holes fill a cosmic gap

Related external links

Joseph Polchinski

Don Marolf

Leonard Susskind

Juan Maldacena

Daniel Harlow

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Merali, Z. Astrophysics: Fire in the hole!. Nature 496, 20–23 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing