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Published May 20, 1985 | public
Journal Article Open

Statistical Mechanical Origin of the Entropy of a Rotating, Charged Black Hole


It is shown that the entropy of a rotating, charged black hole is, in senses made precise in the paper, (i) the logarithm of the number of quantum mechanically distinct ways that the hole could have been made, and (ii) the logarithm of the number of configurations that the hole's "atmosphere," as measured by stationary observers, could assume in the presence of its background noise of acceleration radiation. In addition, a proof is given of the generalized second law of thermodynamics.

Additional Information

©1985 The American Physical Society Received 11 March 1985 For useful discussions we thank Jacob Bekenstein, James Hartle, Karel Kuchar, William Unruh, Robert Wald, John Archibald Wheeler, and members of the Caltech Paradigm Society (Ian Angus, Richard Price, Ian Redmount, Wai-Mo Suen, and Brian Warr). This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. AST82-14126 at Caltech and No. PHY77-27084 at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, and by a J. Robert Oppenheimer fellowship (W.H.Z.).


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