# Immirzi Parameter - Black Hole Thermodynamics

Black Hole Thermodynamics

In the 1970s Stephen Hawking, motivated by the analogy between the law of increasing area of black hole event horizons and the second law of thermodynamics, performed a semiclassical calculation showing that black holes are in equilibrium with thermal radiation outside them, and that black hole entropy (that is, the entropy of the radiation in equilibrium with the black hole) equals

(in Planck units)

In 1997, Ashtekar, Baez, Corichi and Krasnov quantized the classical phase space of the exterior of a black hole in vacuum General Relativity. They showed that the geometry of spacetime outside a black hole is described by spin networks, some of whose edges puncture the event horizon, contributing area to it, and that the quantum geometry of the horizon can be described by a U(1) Chern-Simons theory. The appearance of the group U(1) is explained by the fact that two-dimensional geometry is described in terms of the rotation group SO(2), which is isomorphic to U(1). The relationship between area and rotations is explained by Girard's theorem relating the area of a spherical triangle to its angular excess.

By counting the number of spin-network states corresponding to an event horizon of area A, the entropy of black holes is seen to be

Here is the Immirzi parameter and either

or

depending on the gauge group used in loop quantum gravity. So, by choosing the Immirzi parameter to be equal to, one recovers the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy formula. This computation appears independent of the kind of black hole, since the given Immirzi parameter is always the same. However, Krzysztof Meissner and Marcin Domagala with Jerzy Lewandowski have corrected the assumption that only the minimal values of the spin contribute. Their result involves the logarithm of a transcendental number instead of the logarithms of integers mentioned above.

The Immirzi parameter appears in the denominator because the entropy counts the number of edges puncturing the event horizon and the Immirzi parameter is proportional to the area contributed by each puncture.

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