Stephen Hawking: “There are no black holes” / Breaking News

The essay is just a few pages short but provocative: Our picture of black holes is wrong, thinks physics genius Stephen Hawking. With a new concept he unites two physical worldviews.

Black hole devours star

The essay is just a few pages short but provocative: Our picture of black holes is wrong, thinks physics genius Stephen Hawking. With a new concept he unites two physical worldviews.

If it goes to Stephen Hawking, although the entire astrophysics must not be re-thought. But at least movie classics such as “Event Horizon” might be in need of correction. This is exactly the so-called event horizon at the edge of black holes is trying to put into perspective the physicist in a work recently published. It is used to mass-favorite astrophysicist in new theoretical considerations do not completely, but warns that “black holes should be redefined as a metastable bound states of the gravitational field.”

Granted, this name would not exactly handy – but from a scientific point of view closer to the reality, says Hawking. To the result so far brought him insoluble contradictions, accounting for about the physicists Joseph Polchinski of the Kavli Institute in a thought experiment, attention had made. He was an astronaut in a black hole fall and described what it had to happen at the physical level with him.

One is at the event horizon uplifting wall of fire would burn the falling astronaut, was his result. The problem: According to the quantum theory, there should be the fire wall, but with the general theory of relativity, it is not really compatible.

Black holes without singularities

This contradiction will Stephen Hawking have now eliminated. His work took during a speech at the Kavli Institute in Santa Barbara their origin. He defined therein to the event horizon of a black hole, ie, the limit at which, among other things, the light can not escape the effect of the black hole. Instead, it performs a “apparent horizon”, which makes the black hole and its effect to a limited phenomenon – and resolves the conflict between quantum mechanics and relativity theory.

Hawking’s ideas but also cause that black holes would not be fixed and stable objects. You could form and dissolve again, their existence would be limited in time. Even in the core of the structure, it would follow. It would not necessarily be to find a so-called singularity there – ie a point which is not describable with classical coordinates and physical laws.

New contradictions due to apparent horizon

” The absence of the event horizon means that there are no black holes ,” Hawking formulated provocatively in the paper. ” At least not in the sense that they are a system , can not escape to the infinity of the light. ”

The previously published study has yet to go through a professional review process and will be assessed. And now it is clear that not all physicists accept the new theory as a solution to the contradictions out . For example, criticized Don Page , a former colleague of Hawking and physicist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Canada) , opposite the journal ” Nature” that Hawking’s approach could introduce new contradictions themselves. Also his “apparent horizon ” could cause similar problems , he believes.

However, even if the thoughts of the physics genius Hawking turn out to be wrong : They show that the topic of black holes is still poorly understood for decades – likely because the exceptional phenomena at the edge of the understandable and intuitive physics lie . To this understanding problem obviously knows Hawking himself and acknowledges it with a wink in the very first sentence of his new study : “Some time ago I wrote a paper that sparked a controversy ,” he quips in it. But he speaks not of months or a few years. By ” some time ago ” , he alludes to a work which he published nearly 40 years ago .

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