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Stephen Hawking's Black Hole Secret Told Behind Closed Door

Image: Stephen Hawking's Black Hole Secret Told Behind Closed Door
Stephen Hawking, 73, is often accompanied by his 45-year-old daughter Lucy Hawking, a British author and journalist. (Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 07:41 AM

Physicist Stephen Hawking may have solved an age-old paradox about the nature of collapsed stars, also known as black holes.

Hawking presented his findings at a closed door meeting of roughly three dozen prominent scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday.

The problem he proposed to have solved is known as the "information paradox."

As Space.com explained, "Einstein's theory of general relativity predicts that the physical information about material gobbled up by a black hole is destroyed, but the laws of quantum mechanics stipulate that information is eternal. Therein lies the paradox."

At the conference, Hawking proposed that "information is stored not in the interior of the black hole, as one might expect, but on its boundary, the event horizon." As particles cross the threshold of the event horizon, they are subject to the black hole's gravitational pull — which is so strong that not even light can escape it.

While Hawking proposed that information was stored on the event horizon, he said it would be jumbled and useless. Using a metaphor, he said it would be like burning an encyclopedia and keeping the ashes. You'd still technically have an encyclopedia, but it would be useless.

The lecture took on some controversy in the following days, with some saying the theory is not new, and was originally proposed by Nobel laureate Gerard t'Hooft, who was present for the talk.

In addition to speaking about the "information paradox," Hawking also said he thinks that black holes could be one-way portals to other universes.

"The hole would need to be large, and if it was rotating, it might have a passage to another universe. But you couldn't come back to our universe," Hawking said. "So, although I'm keen on spaceflight, I'm not going to try that."

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Physicist Stephen Hawking may have solved an age-old paradox about the nature of collapsed stars, also known as black holes.
stephen hawking, black, hole, secret
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2015-41-26
Wednesday, 26 Aug 2015 07:41 AM
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