Time: 6. December 2019
Place: Institute of Physics
Title: Formation of black holes in scattering processes
One can often hear an argument that the physics at very high energies (for example near the Planck scale) cannot be directly studied via the scattering of elementary particles, since black holes could form, whose event horizons would render the detection of outgoing particles impossible. Moreover, the higher the energy of the scattering process, the bigger the black hole that forms, and thus Nature "resists" our inspection of ever smaller distances, i.e. higher energies. However, when one looks at the details, it turns out that this type of argument is not completely sound. We will present an elementary analysis under which conditions black holes do form in scattering processes, and under which they do not, and we will discuss the level of (in)validity of the statement that black holes interfere with studying Planck scale physics.