Hawking: Event Horizon Concept Involving Black Holes Is Dismissed

Image: Hawking: Event Horizon Concept Involving Black Holes Is Dismissed

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 11:08 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Stephen Hawking has dismissed the event horizon concept involving black holes and their presumed inescapability in a recently published paper.

An event horizon is a term concept in general relativity that describes the point of no return in a black hole in which the gravitational pull becomes so powerful that nothing can escape.

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In his paper, submitted last week to the Cornell University Library, the famous English theoretical physicist and cosmologist argues that black holes do not have an event horizon and the notion that nothing can escape a black hole, including light, is incompatible with quantum theory, ABC News reported.

"There is no escape from a black hole in classical theory," Hawking told Nature.com. However, quantum theory "enables energy and information to escape from a black hole."

According to Hawking, to fully explain the process, it would require a theory that merged gravity with the other fundamental forces of nature, Nature.com noted.

"The correct treatment," Hawking added, "remains a mystery."

The latest proposal by Hawking flies in the face of a prior theory by the famous scientist in which all information sucked into a black hole never escapes its gravitational pull and is subsequently destroyed.

In an interview with New Scientist in January 2012, Hawking said that his earlier theory about the inescapability of black holes was the "biggest blunder" of his career.

The 72-year-old Hawking, who due to a motor neuron disease is paralyzed and dependent on a speech generating device to communicate, rose to fame largely for his theories on black holes and was the first to put forth a theory that joins the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

In addition to disputing the existence of an event horizon, the purpose of Hawking's paper was actually to attempt to solve what is known as the black-hole firewall paradox, according to Nature.com.

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