Blackbody radiation, emitted from a furnace and described by a Planck spectrum, contains (on average) an entropy of
bits per photon. Since normal physical burning is a unitary process, this amount of entropy is compensated by the same amount of “hidden information” in correlations between the photons. The importance of this result lies in the posterior extension of this argument to the Hawking radiation from black holes, demonstrating that the assumption of unitarity leads to a perfectly reasonable entropy/information budget for the evaporation process. In order to carry out this calculation, we adopt a variant of the “average subsystem” approach, but consider a tripartite pure system that includes the influence of the rest of the universe, and which allows “young” black holes to still have a non-zero entropy; which we identify with the standard Bekenstein entropy.
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