Physicists solve Stephen Hawking’s famous black hole paradox

(ORDO NEWS) — At the heart of every black hole is a problem. Going into oblivion for eons, they take with them a small piece of the universe.

This is the paradox that the late Stephen Hawking left us as part of his revolutionary work on these objects, inspiring researchers to find solutions for the better part of half a century.

Somewhere between the two greatest theories ever created in physics, there is a tiny but significant flaw. The solution would allow us to either model general relativity as a particle-like system, or understand quantum physics against a backdrop of volatile space and time.

The new theory, put forward by physicists from the UK, US and Italy, has certainly generated some interest in the media, although it will be some time before we somehow know if this is the solution we are so desperately looking for.

Mathematically, this is a new spin on an idea that has been mulled over for a long time, the idea that black holes sort of have “hair.”

About half a century ago, Hawking concluded that black holes must “shine” in a rather unique way. Their curvature of the universe would change the undulating nature of the surrounding quantum fields, so that a form of thermal radiation would emerge.

To balance all the math, this means that black holes will gradually radiate energy, shrink, and eventually disappear.

Typically, information falling on a radiant object, such as a star, is represented in a random spectrum of colors emanating from its surface. But this is not the case for black holes.

If Hawking’s radiation theory is correct, the black hole will simply disappear. This violates an important rule of quantum physics, according to which the information that makes a particle a particle is preserved in the Universe from moment to moment.

A significant part of the debate about the nature of a black hole’s information bank is the extent to which the characteristics and behavior of its contents continue to influence their environment even after they have stepped over the edge.

There are solutions for black holes in general relativity that recognize their mass, angular momentum, and charge. Any connections to the universe are described as hair, and theories that assume their permanence are described as “hair yes theorems.”

The presence of a small amount of “hair” would give black holes the opportunity for quantum information to remain stuck in the universe, even if they eventually disappear.

This new solution applies quantum thinking to gravity in the form of theoretical particles called gravitons. These are not real particles like electrons and quarks, because no one has yet seen them in the flesh. They may not exist at all.

This does not mean that we cannot understand what they might look like if they were, or consider the possible quantum states in which they could operate.

By taking a series of logical steps from how gravitons could potentially behave under certain energy conditions, the team is demonstrating a reasonable model of how information inside a black hole can remain connected to the surrounding space through its line of no return like small perturbations in the black hole’s gravitational field (hairs).

As a theory, it’s an interesting theory based on a solid foundation. But there is a long way to go before we can say “resolved” about this paradox.

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