Hawking's NEW theory - black holes

Hi all,

I don’t know if anyone else knows but apparently Hawking has a new theory regarding black holes. He seems to think that somehow information regarding the past and future of the universe can survive inside a Black hole for us to discover.

Many suggest that it could mean that a human could survive being sucked into a black hole. I know it doesn’t seem possible which is why I have begun this topic. If there’s anyone out there that can shed some light on Hawkings new theory, please feel free do so. I still don’t really know what this latest theory really means.

Thanks

Jon

From what I can make out on the brief snippets they give on the news, his theory is that any information which enters a black hole can survive, whereas previously he thought it was destroyed. It’s not the info on the past and future of the universe, just the information contained within the matter falling into the whole (as far as I can tell).

I don’t think this really changes the idea of black holes as wormholes much. There is some speculation that you could survive entry into a very large, rotating black hole. Large because that lowers the spaghetiffication (stretching) effects and rotating because that makes the singularity a ring rather than a point. Most scientists believe the wormhole formed within a black hole is so unstable that if you tried to cross it it would collapse. So you could survive entering the whole but you ain’t getting out again. I don’t see how this new theory changes any of that - but I could be wrong.

Now to speculate a little - and this is probably all wrong, but it is 1 am here! - I suspect his theory is to do with the horrible 2nd Law of thermodynamics. This states entropy (usually defined as disorder) always increases. If a singularity is infinitely dense (standard theory) then its perfectly ordered. So any infalling matter loses all its entropy (and information). That’s quite annoying really, as it violates the 2nd law (which is a stupid law anyway but physicists like it). But if the information in matter survives somehow, then presumably its entropy does too. How nice ! Hurrah !

I could probably write that last bit a lot better and more accurate if I was willing to check back on my Thermodynamics module notes, which I’m not, because it’s too early in the morning for that !

I hope this has made at least some sense.

Hmmm, I think all those kind of comments that scientists make these days are a bit vague. I mean, most of the evidence for such theories lies in the mathematics and physics observations but I doubt anyone will really know for sure. Until we have visited a black hole and experimented, all these things will remain theories - they just want to make the equations work. As rhysy2 interestingly points out it could well be to satisfy thermodynamics but how do we even know that thermodynamics laws still hold up in black holes? - there are a lot of assumptions made in astronomy.

BTW, here’s a link in case you’re not familiar with the post topic:

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996151

Probably the reason it doesn’t seem possible is because of the assumptions you already make about the nature of the black hole, which arise from previous models. It looks like Hawking is trying to change the whole way we perceive how a black hole behaves.

Supposedly the old model of black hole was incompatible with quantum mechanics. That’s why string theory is looking like the successor to QM because it fixes the problem. Hawking has just come up with another solution.

I don’t think we even know that black holes exist yet because you can’t see them. That kind of lowers the importance of such theories for me anyway.

it also stems from the preservation/increase of entropy with time. the thing is that if a complex something was sucked into a black hole with volume nil and thus 0 entropy it would be a decrease in entropy, and so making black holes impossible. but the current idea is that the entropy is transferred to the gravitational field, and thus the entropy of the fluctuation of the gluons surrounding the black hole. another thing related to this is the new idea that the black hole must have a minimum size, the plank length, and thus must have volume and thus physical structure, so that works out how it could store the entropy, and thus the information, of the universe. it surely has enough mass to contain that much entropy.

fine, just had to get that out.

When I listen to theoretical physicists talking about “black holes” and “dark matter” and “the Big Bang,” I find myself wondering if they have extrapolated their observations so far beyond the limit of reasonableness that they are spouting only nonsense.

Here we are, sitting on little ol’ Earth, apparently millions of miles from where the action is, looking at how things behave on little ol’ Earth … and trying to apply that to the entire universe(!) using nothing but our minds. It is quite effortless for us to conclude something like “The World Is Flat!” simply because we have not yet seen (and may never be in a position to see) anything to the contrary. Our conjectures would be worthless and we would never know. After all, there was a time when a flat world was a perfectly reasonable conclusion supported by what appeared to be an abundance of empirical evidence. (Ahh, that word, “appeared.”)

What if we’re sitting in the middle of … an optical illusion? We’d never know. We couldn’t ever know it. We’d be just blind men and an elephant. And maybe we are.

This is where the non-science of philosophy, so often decried by scientists as non-sense, shows its genuine worth. It’s the gadfly, the jester who can dare to say that the king is full of toadstools. The line of unconstrained reasoning that dares to challenge and thus helps to define the limits of our “knowledge.” Yes, we need science. We need philosophy, and religion, too. Because if science has one flaw, it is that “it doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.” It cannot proscribe the limits of its knowledge; can’t draw a circle and say, beyond it, “here be dragons.”

and who care if we are in a giant optical illusion? At least we are trying to understand that illusion…

and if the equation works…who care if it’s an illusion…it works. It’s like if we had an optical illusion in the desert and we see water…and, even if it’s an illusion we can drink that water and feel satisfied…who acre if it was an illusion?

hope you understand my point :wink:

and I don’t know enough about physic to talk about black hole lol, sry

Our minds, samples and info from satellites/rovers telescopes, radio telescopes, and other instrumentation. When I listen to you whine about how immodest scientists are, I think of 80 year old rednecks sitting on their porch mouthing about how scientists don’t know it all.

If you have one flaw, it’s that you don’t understand the word “theory.”


What is this talk about “information” anyway? The arrangement of atoms? Is it that the distortions the hole creates will form back into their origninal form if they ever escape?

Why not wait until this Wednesday when Hawking will present his new theory in public? IMO, all discussions about it are pointless until then.

it’s not new… it’s more like a fix… the beautiful part is that hawking can preduce such an interest around somthing almost nobody can understand… I salut him!

That’s sort of what I was getting at. I mean you might as well argue about what God looks like. I don’t think science is baloney, though. Science is very valuable but when it comes to people theorising about black holes or stuff that we can’t experiment on and may never be able to I wonder whether those great minds could be put to better use.

I guess scientists are maybe trying to discover the nature of black holes in case we ever do find one. Then at least we’ll be a few steps ahead and can then put the theories into good use. Also, the theories might help us look in places we never thought of to see where black holes might be. I’m sure that quantum theory came before nuclear energy.

Not until you take the red pill, right? :wink:

Ha ha, are you paraphrasing Donald Rumsfeld?

When I listen to theoretical physicists talking about “black holes” and “dark matter” and “the Big Bang,” I find myself wondering if they have extrapolated their observations so far beyond the limit of reasonableness that they are spouting only nonsense.

Here we are, sitting on little ol’ Earth, apparently millions of miles from where the action is, looking at how things behave on little ol’ Earth … and trying to apply that to the entire universe(!) using nothing but our minds.

[/quote]
Hmmm, I think all those kind of comments that scientists make these days are a bit vague. I mean, most of the evidence for such theories lies in the mathematics and physics observations but I doubt anyone will really know for sure. Until we have visited a black hole and experimented, all these things will remain theories - they just want to make the equations work.
[/quote]

I agree with shbaz on this. We’re not doing science the Aristotle way - argue about it and never check anything - any more. That approach is long dead. We make detailed observations with all manner of instuments and invent theories to explain them and check them with new observations. From decades of observations, black holes are now mainstream scientific theory, I doubt there’s any serious astronomer left who doubts they or dark matter exist. Rember that these equations they are trying to make work have often been tested rigorously by experiment - for example, dark matter comes from equations of gravity that explain the motion of bodies interacting gravitationally extremely well.

Indeed the argument for dark matter is very simple - the outer edges of galaxies rotate faster than they should. It’s exactly what you’d expect if there was more matter surrounding/penetrating the galaxy. It’s not extrapolating beyond reasonableness at all !
(granted, there is a theory of modified Newtonian gravity that would explain this without invoking dark matter, but it has many problems)

I do agree though that scientists can be a bit vague. From the time they get allocated to state their case on the main news broadcasts it can indeed seem like they’re pulling things out of the air. But there’s a lot of experimental/observational reasoning behind it all and not purely maths. I don’t think we’ll ever need to visit a black hole to check, but we do need more observations to really understand what’s going on (we’ve never actually seen the black dot of a hole in an accretion disc, but all the other theoretical models hold very well).

Because if science has one flaw, it is that “it doesn’t know what it doesn’t know.”

That’s not true. There are many unanswered questions : what is dark matter, what is the fate of the universe, etc. Indeed the whole point of science is to understand what it doesn’t know.

People are always quick to say science doesn’t know everything, and it doesn’t. If it did, no-one would be doing science anymore ! People seem remarkably quick to dismiss that is does know an awful lot - given that the modern world wouldn’t exist without it.

That’s sort of what I was getting at. I mean you might as well argue about what God looks like. I don’t think science is baloney, though. Science is very valuable but when it comes to people theorising about black holes or stuff that we can’t experiment on and may never be able to I wonder whether those great minds could be put to better use.

I can’t think of any better use for a great mind than trying to understand the nature of the universe !
Actually though, I read a while ago in New Scientist that it may be able to create a black hole - but one that only affects light - within the next few years. Also if we want to really understand the universe, we can’t just ignore the bits that don’t seem relavent now, we must explore everything.

I think there’s too much emphasis lately on trying to get practical benefits from abstract theories that really have no use. Why can’t we just accept they’re interesting for their own sake ? One day, yes they may be useful. Until then they are “only” part of our current understanding of how the universe works.

What is this talk about “information” anyway? The arrangement of atoms? Is it that the distortions the hole creates will form back into their origninal form if they ever escape?

I think it means the state the particles are in - their geometrical arrangment, their velocities, charges, quantum wave form…

Yargh, that was a longer post than I intended. I’ll shut up now.

But I’m sure Christians have no doubts over the existance of God. The fact still remains that we haven’t seen either God or black holes so I just think that theorizing about their nature is a little bit unpractical. What if we eventually do come across a black hole and find that none of the existing theories work? All that precious time will have been wasted.

But like I said before, it’s hard to say exactly what is and what isn’t useful science because sometimes the theory leads to the discovery. Maybe black hole theory will help scientists find or produce one.

This is where science acts like religion. So many theories but which is the right one?

So what would be the point? Why theorise about something if you’re never going to know if it’s right or not?

Good point, but if we don’t know that black holes exist then it’s not really an understanding of the universe that we observe. I would say that a better use for a great mind is to become a Blender programmer ;). Maybe even if they tried to discover anti-gravity.

What I’d like to know is what use would even finding a black hole be? We already know about a lot of objects in the universe but has we found any use for any of them? Take Pluto, for example, if we had never discovered it, would mankind be any worse off?

Hmmm, I thought black holes affected light the least because of the small mass.

Well, it’s not that black holes are irrelevant. Like I said, it’s more because we don’t know if there is such a thing. It’s like the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Yeah, you’re probably right. I just like to see results. I think I lost a lot of respect for astronomers when I saw a film clip of a bunch of them standing round a monitor watching the collision of a rock with Jupiter and one woman was in tears. I just thought gees lady, it’s just a rock.

is steven hawkings that guy thats in the wheelchair and goes
Hi Iam steven hawkings. and then shoots a laser at you.
well this is my theory
blackholes can suck in light right!!
size=24][/size] no human cannot survive a blck hole :x :x :x

Well, don’t know about the lasers but the rest is right.

I think you meant it to look like that, right? You have to encapsulate the text inside the size brackets: (size) in here (/size). I find that clicking preview is a good habit to get into to make sure it looks right. I occasionally miss quote marks and the post looks a bit weird.

Hi Iam steven hawkings. and then shoots a laser at you.
I think your confusing steven hawkings with a cylon from battlestar galactica.
http://www.curemode.com/battlestar/photos/bgpic3.jpg

thanx

but serriously he has laser and robot that beat you up.
oh no he coming…
whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…
hi im steven hawkings i am going to shoot you with my lasers
pppppuuummmmmmmm

SPAMmER!! You deserve to be banned, you spamming spammer!!! :x
http://www.menardsigns.com/images/catalog_files/spam.jpg

theyoman1: don’t spam. This is an Off Topic forum, not a “Write Bullshit whenever you want” forum.

Martin

But I’m sure Christians have no doubts over the existance of God. The fact still remains that we haven’t seen either God or black holes so I just think that theorizing about their nature is a little bit unpractical. What if we eventually do come across a black hole and find that none of the existing theories work? All that precious time will have been wasted.

Good point, but we have lots of empirical evidence for black holes but none for God (PLEASE ! I beg you ! Don’t turn this into another religous debate !! They never end !). The existense of holes is not really doubted anymore AFAIK.

This is where science acts like religion. So many theories but which is the right one?

No, only two theories, and not many take the second one seriously. My uni lecturers believe the modified newtonian will be completely dismissed within ten years.

So what would be the point? Why theorise about something if you’re never going to know if it’s right or not?

You’re right, I was wrong about that.

Good point, but if we don’t know that black holes exist then it’s not really an understanding of the universe that we observe. I would say that a better use for a great mind is to become a Blender programmer . Maybe even if they tried to discover anti-gravity.

Ah yes, but we can at least prove their existense without actually going to visit. As I said the existense of holes is no longer an issue, really. Hawking had a bet over whether black holes exist and it was settled years ago in favour of them existense. I believe he had to buy the other guy a year’s subscription to Penthouse ! :stuck_out_tongue:
As for anti-gravity, try google searching for Townsend Brown…

What I’d like to know is what use would even finding a black hole be? We already know about a lot of objects in the universe but has we found any use for any of them? Take Pluto, for example, if we had never discovered it, would mankind be any worse off?

Good point, there might not be any practical applications, though there are ideas about how to extract energy from them. Actually black holes may enable us to survive into the deep, deep future through the contant Hawking radiation they emit. The largest will continue shining long after all the stars are dead and will be our only source of energy (unless we can extract energy from the vacuum or find some other way).

If we hadn’t discovered Pluto then we probably also wouldn’t have discovered the Kuiper belt and so lost out on hundreds of solar system objects ! Which may be important to understand how the solar system formed and what will happen to it. Granted, there are no practical applications of the discovery of pluto but scientifically it is important. (maybe one day we will use it as a source of hydrogen for rocket fuel when we begin exploring the outer solar system).

Hmmm, I thought black holes affected light the least because of the small mass.

First, the mass of the other object apart from the hole is irrelavent. That’s why heavy and light objects fall at the same rate, ignoring air resistance.
Second, if you use very cold caesium ions, you can slow down light to about 1m/s. This means you can actually blow it around in a gas ! The idea is to create a vortex in the gas which could suck light in. Surely that has to peak your curiosity… what the hell would it look like ?
The idea behind creating such a vortex is to see if Hawking radiation could exist, without needing to visit a proper hole.

Yeah, you’re probably right. I just like to see results. I think I lost a lot of respect for astronomers when I saw a film clip of a bunch of them standing round a monitor watching the collision of a rock with Jupiter and one woman was in tears. I just thought gees lady, it’s just a rock.

Fair comment, tangible results are always nice. What annoys me is when people try and say “this could lead to this happenening, eventually…”. Recently I saw an article about a study of very cold atoms. The article tried to link it to room temperature superconductors - a connection which didn’t exist. It’s a shame people sometimes resort to trying to peak peoples interest in what are really innately interesting things by using practical benefits that just won’t happen.

I agree it’s a bit silly getting emotional over an asteroid collision - it’s important, but not THAT important ! I wouldn’t let one incident cloud your view of astronomers though.

:-? sorry mista A