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Space Science

Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes' 458

ananyo writes "Stephen Hawking has proposed a new solution to the black-hole firewall paradox, which has been vexing physicists for almost two years. The paradox troubles physicists because if the firewall scenario is correct, Einstein's general theory of relativity is flouted. But the classical theory black hole cannot be reconciled to the quantum mechanical prediction that energy and information can escape from a black hole. Now Hawking has proposed a tantalizingly simple solution to the paradox which allows both quantum mechanics and general relativity to remain intact — black holes simply do not have an event horizon to catch fire. The key to his claim is that quantum effects around the black hole cause spacetime to fluctuate too wildly for a sharp boundary surface to exist. As Hawking writes in his paper, 'The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes — in the sense of regimes from which light can't escape to infinity.'"
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Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'

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  • The actual paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:08AM (#46055657) Homepage
    The actual paper can be found here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.5761 [arxiv.org]. People have suggested informally ideas somewhat similar to this one before, but Hawking proposal seems to actually have the math behind it. Possibly most importantly, he can show that his predictions are a consequence of gauge/gravity duality http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdS/CFT_correspondence [wikipedia.org]. This suggests that this may be a testale consequence of certain string theories if one could observe a black hole under the right conditions and see that it only was pretending to be a black hole.
  • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:43AM (#46055921)

    "Such objects would have an "apparent horizon", which can be defined locally by the property that all lightlike geodesics are ingoing."

    But this is the definition of an event horizon.

    No, it's not. Event horizons are defined by the asymptotic properties of the light cone, not by the local properties of geodesics on the boundary. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:48AM (#46055987)

    Put up some research?
    How about you look in to the systems I mentioned and see the bullshit they have to deal with despite using supposedly "perfect" equations.
    Relativity has never worked. It is just another step up from Netwonian physics that predicts things WELL ENOUGH for most of the uses we care for.

    If the equations worked, GPS would be fine.
    If the equations worked, satellites wouldn't be spazzing out over long time periods.
    If the equations worked, there'd be no need for dark matter or energy. OH WAIT.
    Even Einstein said it himself that the cosmological constant was a mistake, despite it being a confirmed fact.
    He even outright attacked quantum entanglement.

    Einstein had many flaws, stop thinking he was perfect. It is 2014, move on already.
    There isn't even a need for research when practical implementations of the equations are FAILING and have done since day1.
    Relativity is one of the most spectacular successful failures of the last century. It taught us a great deal.
    Sadly it seems there are even moronic fanboys in science.

  • by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:52AM (#46056037)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:08AM (#46056245)

    Christianity is not opposed to science. Please stop propagating this incorrect view. Go ahead and take issue with individuals who oppose science for personal or religious reasons, but it's plain ignorance to generalize.

    When I hear people say things like this, it instantly raises a red flag to be cautious of what so-called reasoning and observations this person attempts to convey. Is it possible that their lack of reasoning and failure to observe reality cloud their other assessments as well?

  • by roadkill-maker ( 523041 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:21AM (#46056407)
    Those ideas did not come from Christianity, nor are they exclusive to it.
  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:31AM (#46056561)

    Relativity is the most proven theory in the history of science. Nearly every physics major that's graduated in the past 80 years has proven out a different part of it in some new and unique way as part of their doctoral thesis. Every observation that's ever been made that seems to contradict it has later been found to be faulty or explained by some other phenomena that we hadn't understood as of yet.

    Infinities exist everywhere in nature. They are naturally hard for us to understand because of our species engrained believe in the Birth/Death cycle and we feel it should apply to everything just well as it does to us.

    Lastly, you are correct, Relativity will fail eventually. Even Einstein knew this. It explains "how" things work but only in limited condition and scales. Just like how Newtonian physics worked at the Macro level and at speeds and timescales humans could measure at the time it was devised, relativity only works at certain scales. But it does not invalidate the predictions of Newtonian physics, it just expands them. Eventually we will learn more and there will be a new theory that either explains it all, or at least improves on what Newtonian and Relativistic physics has shown us.

  • by Electricity Likes Me ( 1098643 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:55AM (#46056869)

    I think he's referring to the 10% difference in the observed radius of force from the proton. [phys.org]

    It's been a tricky one since no one was able to convince themselves it wasn't just measurement error for a long time, but the most recent results seem to say it's real - and no one can propose a good explanation as to why.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @12:53PM (#46057497)
  • Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @02:03PM (#46058403)

    You have no idea what you're talking about. GPS has to be resynced because our clocks are imperfect, the path of GPS satellites is imperfect and there are tiny errors introduced by outside forces like the Earth's electromagnetic field. Satellites fail because we are incapable of building perfect, error-free machines. And quantum entanglement has nothing to do with relativity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 24, 2014 @02:19PM (#46058619)

    Have physicists taken into account that the stars nearer the center of the galaxy are in a deeper gravity well and so will experience time at a different rate than the stars out at the edge

    Yes, but only recently. They have also detected similar rings of gravitational lensing in galactic voids that have no observable matter, indicating huge amounts of invisible matter in areas with no other detectable matter within tens of millions of light years of the locations.

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