Best final sentence of an abstract ever

The edge of locality: visualizing a black hole from the inside

Abstract: We illustrate and discuss the view seen by an observer inside the horizon of a Schwarzschild black hole. The view as the observer approaches the central singularity is of particular interest because, according to ideas arising from "observer complementarity," points in opposite directions along the observer's past lightcone are at "the edge of locality," where standard flat-space quantum-field-theory commutation rules may be at the brink of failure. Near the singularity, the observer's view is aberrated by the diverging tidal force into a horizontal plane. The view in the horizontal plane is highly blueshifted, but all directions other than horizontal appear highly redshifted. We argue that the affine distance provides a canonical measure of distance along a light ray from emitter to observer. Since the affine distance is not directly measurable by the observer, we also consider perceptual distances, and argue that the trinocular distance (binocular distance is inadequate) provides an estimate of affine distance that would allow tree-leaping apes to survive in highly curved spacetime.

Boldface mine.


Mike said...

I'm wondering whether they meant it or instead they were testing the journal editors to make sure someone reads the whole thing properly. :-)

Anne M. Archibald said...

They seem to be quite serious: they talk about "perceptual surrogates for the affine distance", that is, ways to see how far away things are. Maybe "serious" is too strong a word - I for one would have been cackling with glee to be able to slip a phrase like "tree-leaping apes" into the theoretical physics literature - but they do make it an important part of their paper.