New theory radically revises Stephen Hawking's 1974 theory of black holes

June 2023

Stephen Hawking's most famous theory about black holes has just been given a sinister update — one that proclaims that everything in the universe is doomed to evaporate.


In 1974, Hawking proposed that black holes eventually evaporate by losing what's now known as Hawking radiation — a gradual draining of energy in the form of light particles that spring up around black holes' immensely powerful gravitational fields. Now, a new update to the theory has suggested that Hawking radiation isn't just created by stealing energy from black holes, but from all objects with enough mass.


If the theory is true, it means that everything in the universe will eventually disappear, its energy slowly bled from it in the form of light.


"That means that objects without an event horizon [the gravitational point of no return beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole], such as the remnants of dead stars and other large objects in the universe, also have this sort of radiation," lead author Heino Falke, a professor of astrophysics at Radboud University in the Netherlands, said in a statement. "And, after a very long period, that would lead to everything in the universe eventually evaporating, just like black holes. This changes not only our understanding of Hawking radiation but also our view of the universe and its future."

To read more: Physical Review Letters