Nonexistence of Baryon Number for Static Black Holes

Phys. Rev. D 5, 1239 – Published 15 March 1972
Jacob D. Bekenstein


Wheeler has conjectured that black holes should have no well-defined baryon number, and that as a result the law of conservation of baryons should be transcended in black-hole physics. We show here that a static black hole cannot have any exterior classical scalar or massive vector fields. We consider the modifications that would arise from a quantum-theoretical treatment, and we conclude that such a black hole cannot interact with the exterior world via virtual mesons such as the π and ρ. Because of this we find no way for external measurements to assign unambiguously a baryon number to such a black hole in agreement with Wheeler's prediction.


  • Received 17 May 1971
  • Published in the issue dated 15 March 1972

© 1972 the American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Jacob D. Bekenstein*

  • Joseph Henry Laboratories, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08540

  • *National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow.

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