After 50 years, NASA scientists have proven Stephen Hawking’s black hole hypothesis correct.
After 50 years, NASA scientists have proven Stephen Hawking correct with a ground-breaking study that backs up the famous physicist’s theory on black holes.
The gravity in these regions of spacetime is so powerful that nothing – not even light – can escape. When huge stars collide, black holes arise, and they can continue to grow by absorbing and merging with other black holes. Because radiation is emitted as visible light throughout space, scientists have been observing this interaction for decades and utilize it to determine their presence.
Prof. Hawking published “Hawking’s area theorem” in 1971, which is a law that predicts this area, also known as the event horizons.
MIT scientists have now validated it for the first time using gravitational wave observations, more than half a century later.
Their findings were published in this month’s issue of “Physical Review Letters” and indicate the outcome of a study into GW150914, the first gravitational wave signal identified by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015.
The signal was formed as a result of two black holes merging and giving birth to a new one.
The specialists discovered that the total event horizon area did not shrink after the merger, supporting Hawking’s prediction that the new black hole’s total horizon area should not be smaller than its parents’ total horizon area.
Their discovery is the first direct observational confirmation of Hawking’s area theorem, which had previously been proven mathematically but never witnessed in nature.
Future gravitational wave transmissions will be tested to see if they corroborate Hawking’s theorem or if they are an indication of new, law-bending physics.
“It’s possible that there’s a menagerie of different compact things, and while some of them are black holes that follow Einstein and Hawking’s theories, others may be slightly different beasts,” said NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow and main author Professor Maximiliano Isi.
“It’s not as if you take this test once and it’s done. You just do it once, and then it’s over.”
In 2019, the team made a major breakthrough when they devised a method for extracting the reverberations that occurred just after the peak of GW150914 — the point at which the two-parent black holes collided.
Prof Isi went on to say, “The data reveals with overwhelming certainty that the horizon area grew following the merger, and that the area law is extremely fulfilled.” Brinkwire Summary News.”