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Hawking: Black holes not cosmic dead ends after all

The niggling problem with the theory of black holes has been what is termed the ‘information paradox.’ Now, at the Hawking Radiation conference held at  the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, famed physicist Stephen Hawking says he may have solved the conundrum.

According to the laws of quantum mechanics, all information is forever encoded and can never completely disappear. But black holes, which are created when massive stars collapse in on themselves, are supposed to be places in space that suck up all the matter around them and where gravity is so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape.

The problem: how to reconcile these two apparently contradictory laws of physics.

Hawking’s latest idea says that the information encoded in objects that appears to be sucked irretrievably into a black hole never actually falls in. Rather, it remains trapped at the edge of the black hole on the surface of its event horizon, where it is encoded in a two dimensional hologram.

“The information is not stored in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but in its boundary—the event horizon,” said Hawking, as reported in a KTH Royal Institute of Technology statement. “The idea is the super translations are a hologram of the ingoing particles. Thus, they contain all the information that would otherwise be lost.”

Intriguingly, Hawking suggests that if a rotating black hole were large enough, it might provide “a passage to another universe.”  But, he added, it would be a one-way trip because “you couldn’t come back to our universe.”

Hawking joins more than 30 world-renowned physicists at the week-long conference on black holes and the information paradox.

Delila James

Delila James

Associate Editor/Writer
Delila James practiced civil rights and employment law for almost 20 years. Before going to law school, she raised organic lamb on a ranch in the Sierra Nevada foothills, ran a dairy farm in Muscoda, WI, and then owned a popular live music nightclub in Madison, WI. She has a Master's degree in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she went to law school. She also is a published poet. She now is a book editor, writes legal blogs, and is trying to finish a book. She has been writing for Science Recorder since March, 2013.
About Delila James (1329 Articles)
Delila James practiced civil rights and employment law for almost 20 years. Before going to law school, she raised organic lamb on a ranch in the Sierra Nevada foothills, ran a dairy farm in Muscoda, WI, and then owned a popular live music nightclub in Madison, WI. She has a Master's degree in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she went to law school. She also is a published poet. She now is a book editor, writes legal blogs, and is trying to finish a book. She has been writing for Science Recorder since March, 2013.