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It’s not just black holes: Will everything eventually evaporate?

It’s not just black holes: Will everything eventually evaporate?

Nearly 50 years after Stephen Hawking hypothesized that radiation named after him causes black holes to evaporate over eons, three physicists have determined that other large celestial bodies also vanish in the same way. As the researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands explain, they are convinced that the event horizon of a black hole is not at all a prerequisite for so-called Hawking radiation. Gravity and the curvature of space-time will have the same effect on neutron stars and white dwarfs. This cannot currently be verified experimentally, but if it were correct, Stephen Hawking would have made a correct prediction on the wrong track.

British physicist Stephen Hawking, who died in 2018, surprised the world in 1974 with the theory that black holes do not irrevocably devour everything, and thus become ever larger. Instead, from pairs of particles and antiparticles that form directly on the event horizon, under certain conditions one can escape and only one can fall into the black hole. In a sense, it is mortgaged with negative energy, eventually causing it to slowly evaporate over unimaginably long periods of time. While this would take longer than the universe was ancient, the theory changed our understanding of black holes. The radiation emitted is called Hawking radiation, and was previously assumed to be caused only by black holes.

The search group from Nijmegen now has it Using techniques from physics, astronomy, and mathematics, she determined that these particles could also form far beyond the black hole’s event horizon. The curved space-time plays an important role in radiation generation by separating spontaneously generated particles/antiparticles. The event horizon is not necessary at all. This is the region around the black hole where not even light can escape. Instead, the remnants of dead stars or other large objects can emit this type of radiation while evaporating very slowly, just like black holes. Accordingly, over a very long period of time, everything in the universe will dissolve and leave no trace.

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Opposite the Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung Many experts who Theory presented in Physical Review Letters It was described as very interesting and made clear that no weaknesses were immediately apparent. Accurate verification will take time. The important question is how exactly does the new radiation behave compared to Hawking radiation and whether it is a different phenomenon. It is interesting to see if the new radiation transmits information about massive objects to the outside, because Hawking radiation does not carry information about Hawking radiation, says Klaus Kiefer of the University of Cologne. This leads to a great paradox, because as black holes evaporate, so does all the information that was collected there. But this is forbidden in quantum theory.


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