Thursday, January 30, 2014

Black Hole Denial Revisited

A while back (December 2011), I had a post entitled “Flirting With Black Hole Denial” (link). It surprised me, therefore, that Stephen Hawking appears to have doubts of his own, the doubts released January 22, 2014. Hawking, of course, is a top-ranked physicist and foremost student of black holes. The story is here. In his paper he says: “There are no black holes—in the sense from which light can’t escape to infinity.” His conclusion is based on the apparent conflict between quantum mechanics and relativity. He is quoted as saying to CBC News: “The conflict is that with quantum mechanics, you’re never destroying information. If information gets completely lost and falls into a black hole, there’s no way of reversing this. So either Einstein’s theory of relativity is incomplete, or quantum mechanics is incomplete.”  It will be fun to watch this one evolving over time.

What’s likely to fall into the devouring jaws of Doubt next? Dark matter perhaps? (link).

1 comment:

  1. Talk about shaking things up, what fun! I had never given black holes all that much thought but I new that you had trouble with the certitude with which they'd been incorporated into all studies in astronomy. Yes, we're probably in for some very interesting times as this certitude is questioned/shaken.