The idea has been around since 1783…
And is one that has generally been held up by most everyone in the field of physics.
Stephen Hawking says you’re wrong:
[via io9]Stephen Hawking says there are no black holes ~Ria Misra
At least, not as we’ve defined them. In a new paper, Hawking says that one of the defining features of black holes — the complete inability of even light to escape — may not hold true.
“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,” writes Hawking, in a new paper. In other words, the notion that black holes have an event horizon, which prevents anything from escaping ever, is wrong.
Hawking posted the paper, titled “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes” up on arXiv, but it hasn’t yet gone through peer review.
So what exactly does all this mean for theories about how black holes work? The New Scientist has a terrific look at some of the questions raised by the paper, and how to answer them:
It’s yet another quantum versus relativity showdown!
Indeed. Firewalls mean that one of the two theories is wrong, so physicists have been scrambling to find a compromise that doesn’t produce these flaming problems. Now Hawking has waded in and says the solution is to give up the very thing that makes black holes so intriguing – the event horizon.
Wait a minute… does that mean you could actually escape from a black hole?
Potentially, although you would probably need to be travelling at the speed of light. “The absence of event horizons means that there are no black holes – in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity,” writes Hawking in his new paper, which he posted online earlier this week. Instead, black holes have “apparent horizons”, surfaces which trap light but can also vary in shape due to quantum fluctuations, leaving the potential for light to escape.
And because he does?
Looks like this future African Continental Telescope Array…
Called the Square Kilometer Array?
Could come in pretty hand.
Cause now that we know what they are NOT…
Maybe the Square Kilometer Array will soon be able to tell us what they ARE:
[via Scientific American] Continental Telescope Array Could Usher Astronomy Revolution in Africa ~By Clara Moskowitz
Scientists are predicting an astronomy renaissance on the African continent in coming years, thanks in part to a giant radio telescope array being built there. But the road to cosmic cachet is not an easy one, and African science advocates are scrambling to take full advantage of the opportunities coming their way.
“Astronomy really is about to explode across the African continent,” astronomer Kartik Sheth of the U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory said January 9 at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society near Washington, D.C. The challenge, he said, is to make sure African astronomers benefit from the surge of facilities being built in their midst. “We want to build long-term sustainable collaborations that are mutually beneficial to the U.S. and to Africa. We don’t want brain and data drain from Africa to the U.S.”
The biggest game-changer on the continent will be the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), the world’s largest network of radio telescopes designed to survey the sky faster than any instrument before it. Roughly 3,000 radio dishes—having a combined total surface equal to a light-collecting area of about a square kilometer—will be spread across vast distances to offer a resolution akin to a single dish encompassing the whole span. “SKA will be the premier project of the coming decades, completely revolutionizing radio astronomy,” said Ted Williams, director of the South African Astronomical Observatory. “The largest part of the SKA will be sited in Africa, and it’s continent-wide, extending across eight African countries:” Botswana, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. A smaller portion of the project will be built in Australia.
Lucky for you too.
It’s not like physicists like to go around and be wrong all the time.
Way to party-poop on a centuries long party, by rattling beliefs.
But, you know…
Kinda awesome all at the same time, right?
Who doesn’t, after all, enjoy a good ol’ common challenge to the ‘status quo‘?