Harvard professor Avi Loeb believes that our universe is an alien lab experiment. On the image: Mixed infrared and ultraviolet view of the Helix Nebula, commonly called the 'Eye of God'. Credit: NASA

The Universal Vanish: Beyond Black Holes, Everything Shall Evaporate

Recent scientific findings confirm that Stephen Hawking's insights into black holes were indeed accurate, albeit with some nuances. The phenomenon of Hawking radiation ensures that black holes will ultimately evaporate, challenging the long-held belief in the significance of the event horizon. Notably, the interplay of gravity and spacetime curvature contributes to this radiation as well. These groundbreaking discoveries indicate that all substantial celestial entities, including remnants of stars, are destined for evaporation in the vast expanse of the universe.


The fate of black holes might be shared by more celestial objects than previously believed. A new research study suggests a universal evaporation might be the ultimate destiny of all major objects in the cosmos, not just black holes.

Unraveling the Enigma of Black Holes

In a pivotal theoretical research piece, scientists Michael Wondrak, Walter van Suijlekom, and Heino Falcke of Radboud University affirm that Stephen Hawking’s predictions about black holes were largely accurate, albeit with a twist. Hawking’s renowned theory states that black holes gradually evaporate due to Hawking radiation. The researchers suggest, however, that the key element in this evaporation process isn’t just the event horizon, as previously assumed. The forces of gravity and spacetime curvature also play significant roles in creating this radiation.

Probing Hawking’s Theory Deeper

Hawking’s theory stemmed from an ingenious blend of quantum physics and Einstein’s gravity theory. He theorised that particle pairs spontaneously form and destroy themselves near the event horizon of a black hole, the point beyond which nothing can escape its gravitational pull. Sometimes, one particle falls into the black hole, enabling its counterpart to escape, forming Hawking radiation. This process, he believed, would eventually lead to black holes’ evaporation.


Beyond Black Holes, Everything Shall Evaporate

Radboud University researchers reexamined this process in a fresh approach, questioning the role of the event horizon. They combined expertise from various scientific fields to scrutinise what happens when such particle pairs form around black holes. The findings revealed that new particles could also emerge far beyond the event horizon. According to Wondrak, this adds a new radiation form to the established Hawking radiation.

Not Just Black Holes: The Grand Evaporation

Van Suijlekom points out that spacetime curvature far from a black hole is critical in producing radiation. Here, gravitational field tidal forces already separate the particles. This discovery challenges previous assumptions that radiation is impossible without the event horizon.

Echoing this sentiment, Falcke suggests that even objects without an event horizon, such as remnants of dead stars and other large cosmic entities, can emit similar radiation. Over a lengthy period, this could cause everything in the universe to evaporate like black holes. This expands our understanding of Hawking radiation and reshapes our perception of the universe’s fate.


The researchers’ findings were published on 2 June in the American Physical Society’s “Physical Review Letters.”

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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