Scientists have confirmed Hawking's theory about black holes. The image is from a computer simulation showing the collision of two black holes that produce gravitational waves. Credit: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project / Courtesy of LIGO

Researchers Confirm Professor Hawking’s Theory on Black Holes

Scientific breakthrough: a 50-year-old theorem about black holes has been confirmed.

An international team of physicists led by experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used gravitational waves to test professor Hawking’s theory about black holes. Exactly 50 years after he proposed it, his area theorem was confirmed experimentally. 


Hawking’s theory states that there are certain rules that even the most extreme objects in the universe must obey. He predicted that the region of black hole event horizons is a boundary beyond which nothing can go.

That is, the surface area of ​​the event horizon of a black hole should never decrease, but can only increase. The event horizon is not the black hole itself, but the radius at which even the speed of light in a vacuum is insufficient to achieve the speed of “escape” from the gravitational field created by the black hole singularity.

This radius is proportional to the mass of the black hole. Since black holes can only gain mass, according to general relativity, the event horizon should only increase. Until now, all this has existed only in theory.

And 50 years later, physicists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other scientific organizations confirmed Hawking’s theory for the first time. They took a close look at an event called GW150914, the first gravitational wave signal detected by the LIGO observatory in 2015.

It was found that this signal was the product of the merger of two huge black holes, which together gave birth to a new supermassive black hole. As a result of this merger, a huge amount of energy was thrown out, which oscillated in space-time in the form of gravitational waves.

Physicists used computer simulations to analyze the GW150914 signal before and after the cosmic collision. The analysis showed that the total area of ​​the event horizon did not decrease after the merger. The results obtained became the first direct practical confirmation of Hawking’s theory, which had previously been proved only mathematically and until recently had not been observed in nature.

Now the team of physicists plans to study the signals of gravitational waves that will be caught in the future. This will expand the range of research and eliminate the likelihood of an accidental result.

The authors of the work say that if the study of new gravitational waves also confirms Hawking’s theory, then this will become at least a sign of the so-called new physics, which calls into question the laws of classical physics.

We have talked about new physics in the past and how many of science’s laws fail to explain the mysteries of space. This is a subject many experts avoid because it is not yet well-accepted by traditionalists. But in the end, it could be mandatory that the classical laws be changed in order to explain the unexplainable.

On numerous occasions, theories and hypotheses that do not comply with the laws of physics have managed to give probable explanations about cosmic phenomena. Perhaps scientists should really focus on methods that are outside the box.


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Sources:

Isi, M., Farr, W. M., Giesler, M., Scheel, M. A., & Teukolsky, S. A. (2021, July 1). Testing the Black-Hole Area Law with GW150914. Physical Review Letters.
Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office. (n.d.). Physicists observationally confirm Hawking’s black hole theorem for the first time. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
O’Neill, M. (2021, July 1). Hawking’s Black Hole Theorem Confirmed Observationally for the First Time. SciTechDaily.
Starr, M. (n.d.). A Major Prediction Stephen Hawking Made About Black Holes Has Finally Been Observed. ScienceAlert.

Written by Vladislav Tchakarov

Hello, my name is Vladislav and I am glad to have you here on Curiosmos. My experience as a freelance writer began in 2018 but I have been part of the Curiosmos family since mid-2020. As a history student, I have a strong passion for history and science, and the opportunity to research and write in this field on a daily basis is a dream come true.

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