Stephen Hawking has produced a “mind-bending” new theory that argues black holes do not actually exist — at least not in the way we currently perceive them. Instead, in his paper, Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes, Hawking proposes that black holes can exist without “event horizons” , the invisible cover believed to surround every black hole. During a previous lecture, “Into the Black Hole” , Hawkins described an event horizon as the boundary of a black hole, “where gravity is just strong enough to drag light back, and prevent it escaping” . “Falling through the event horizon, is a bit like going over Niagara Falls in a canoe” , he said. “If you are above the falls, you can get away if you paddle fast enough, but once you are over the edge, you are lost. There’s no way back.
Hawking posted his paper on the arXiv preprint server on 22 January1. He titled it, whimsically, ‘Information preservation and weather forecasting for black holes’, and it has yet to pass peer review. The paper was based on a talk he gave via Skype at a meeting at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, in August 2013 (watch video of the talk)
“There are no black holes,” the paper concludes, “in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity.”
Other physicists are already challenging Hawking’s theory, which has not been peer-reviewed yet. “The idea that there are no points from which you cannot escape a black hole is in some ways an even more radical and problematic suggestion than the existence of firewalls,” says Raphael Bousso, a theoretical physicist at Berkeley.
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