Forty years ago, the famed physicist and scientist, Stephen Hawking, proved the existence of black holes and event horizons in space. His theory stated that black holes and event horizons are entities or spaces that constitute all-consuming mass particles, which allow nothing to escape. But now, he is negating his initial theory and is claiming that there are no black holes in space after all.
Hawking has now brought forward a new theory that states that they are apparent horizons, which do absorb light, energy, and matter, but for a temporary time period, after which, they are released back into space. Therefore, the all-consuming nature of the black hole is now becoming questionable. Hawking doesn’t propose that black holes don’t exist in space, but the prevalent properties being associated with them for the last 40 years are, however, being contested by Hawking himself.
The current findings by researchers state that black holes are surrounded by the event horizon, which is a boundary, existing in space-time, which allows matter and energy to pass through to the black hole. However, this transference of matter and energy is one way, and there is no chance of return. This is why black holes appear black in color because there is no production of light and heat as the energy can’t escape. In terms of thermodynamics, the black hole can absorb all kinds of energy and radiation.
There is a problem with this theory, though. It is based on the laws of general relativity, and in the past few decades, the understanding of the laws of general relativity has significantly increased. Scientists have now been able to study quantum theory in accordance with the relativity theory and have concluded that numerous conflicts arise when these theories are applied together. The recent findings by Hawking follow the same rule, which can prove to be disastrous, as quantum mechanics results in the theory that event horizons might not be able to destroy all light and energy information that pass through them.
The proposal by Hawking somewhat ameliorates the conflict between the two branches of science. In his research paper, “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes”, Hawking proposes that an apparent horizon envelops the black hole, which is self-explanatory to the scientists questioning the relationship between relativity and quantum theory.
So, instead of an event horizon, the apparent horizon will allow the energy and matter to escape, and when they escape, their properties and form will become garbled due to extreme fluctuation inside the black hole. In order to explain it better, Hawking compared the energy fluctuations to weather on earth. He said, “It will be like weather forecasting on Earth. That is unitary, but chaotic, so there is effective information loss. One can’t predict the weather more than a few days in advance. 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. There are however apparent horizons which persist for a period of time.”
It is important to note, however, that this new research paper is just two pages long and constitutes no calculations or peer reviews. Perhaps in the days to come, Hawking will release the necessary calculations that support his hypothesis and change the way black holes have been perceived for the last 40 years.