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Yes, Stephen Hawking lied to us about how black holes decay

) The greatest idea of ​​Stephen Hawking’s scientific career truly revolutionized the way we think about black holes. After all, they weren’t exactly black, and it was indeed Hawking who first understood and predicted the radiation they were supposed to emit: Hawking radiation. He arrived at this result in 1974, and it is one of the deepest links between the quantum world and our theory of gravity, Einstein’s general theory of relativity. However, in his landmark 1988 book A Brief History of Time, Hawking painted a picture of this radiation – A spontaneously created particle-antiparticle pair in which one member falls and the other escapes – this is very incorrect. For 32 years, it has been misleading physics students, laymen, and even professionals. Black holes do decay. Let’s see how they do it today.

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, etc.

What Hawking wants us to imagine is a relatively simple picture. Start with a black hole: a region of space where so much mass is concentrated into such a small volume that not even light can escape. Anything too close to it will inevitably be pulled into the central singularity, the boundary between the escapeable and non-escapable regions known as the event horizon.

    Derek B. Leinweber In the context of quantum field theory, the lowest energy state of a quantum field corresponds to the absence of particles. But excited states, or states that correspond to higher energies, correspond to particles or antiparticles. A common method of visualization is to think of empty space as truly empty, but filled by particle-antiparticle pairs (due to conservation laws) that briefly pop up, but annihilate back into the void of nothingness shortly after.

    Ulf Leonhardt / University of St Andrews

    This is the first explanation I’ve heard myself as a theoretical astrophysicist about how black holes decay. If this explanation were true, then this would mean:

    Hawking radiation consists of a 50/50 mix of particles and antiparticles, since which member falls and which escapes will be random,

      All Hawking The radiation, which causes the black hole to decay, will be emitted from the event horizon itself, and

    1. Each quanta of emitted radiation must have enormous energy: enough energy from Almost, , but not quite, was swallowed by a black hole.

      Of course, none of these three points are true. Hawking radiation consists almost entirely of photons, rather than a mixture of particles and antiparticles. It emanated from a large area beyond the event horizon, not at the surface. And the single quanta emitted have tiny energies over a considerable range.

      The strange thing about this explanation is that it’s not the one he’s using in the scientific papers he’s written on the subject. He knew the analogy was flawed and would lead physicists to think wrongly about it, but he chose to present it to the public as if people couldn’t understand the mechanism that really worked. That’s too bad, because the actual science story isn’t complicated, but more instructive. The empty space does have the entire field of quantum, and the energy value of these fields does fluctuate. There’s a germ of truth in the “particle-antiparticle pair creation” analogy, and it’s this: In quantum field theory, you can simulate the energy of vacuum space by adding up graphs that contain the creation of these particles. But this is just a computational technique; particles and antiparticles are not real, but virtual. They are not actually produced, they do not interact with real particles, and they cannot be detected in any way.

      RL Jaffe, from

      To any observer located anywhere in the universe, the “vacuum space energy” we call zero-point energy will Where they are, they all seem to have the same value. One rule of relativity, however, is that different observers perceive different realities: observers in relative motion, or in regions with different curvatures of spacetime, in particular, will disagree with each other. So if you are infinitely far away from every source of mass in the universe, and your spacetime curvature is negligible, then You will have a certain amount of zero-point energy. If others were at the black hole’s event horizon, they would have a certain zero-point energy, which would be the same for them as you measure at infinity. However, if you try to map zero-point energies to their zero-point energies (or vice versa), the values ​​will not be consistent. From each other’s perspective, the change in zero-point energy is related to the severity of the curvature of the two spaces.

      Pixabay user JohnsonMartin

      This is The key point behind Hawking radiation, Stephen Hawking himself knew. In 1974, when he first deduced the famous Hawking radiation, he performed the following calculation: Calculate the difference in zero-point energy in a quantum field from curved space around a black hole to infinitely far flat space.

      The results of this calculation determine the properties of the radiation emitted from the black hole: not exactly from the event horizon, but from around it of the entire bending space. It tells us the temperature of the radiation, which depends on the mass of the black hole. It tells us the spectrum of radiation: a perfect black body, indicating the energy distribution of the photons, and – if enough energy passes through E=mc² – so are massive particles and antiparticles.


      It also allows us to calculate an important detail that is often not understood: where the radiation from a black hole is coming from. While most pictures and visualizations show that 100% of a black hole’s Hawking radiation is emitted from the event horizon itself, it is more accurate to describe it as emitting d at a distance spanning approximately 10-20 Schwarzschild radii (radius to the event horizon) Volumetrically, the radiation decreases gradually with increasing distance. This leads us to a surprising conclusion: all collapsing objects that bend spacetime should emit Hawking radiation. It could be the tiny, imperceptible Hawking radiation that, to the extent we can count, is overwhelmed by thermal radiation even in long-dead white dwarfs and neutron stars. But it’s still there: it’s a computable, non-zero positive value that depends only on the object’s mass, spin, and physical dimensions.


      Hawking The main problem with his interpretation of his theory is that he takes a computational tool — the concept of virtual particles — and treats that tool as equivalent to physical reality. In effect, the curved space around a black hole is constantly emitting radiation due to the curvature gradient around it, and the energy comes from the black hole itself, causing its event horizon to slowly contract over time.

      The black hole did not decay because a virtual particle with negative energy fell; this is Hawking’s inadequacy to “save” him Another fantasy designed by analogy. Instead, the black hole is decaying and losing mass over time as the energy emitted by this Hawking radiation is slowly reducing the curvature of space in the region. Once enough time has passed, and the duration is enormous for realistic black holes, they evaporate completely.

      Communication Science in the European Union



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