Stephen Hawking just blew our minds with his black hole theory

I will not claim to be an astrophysicist, and 90% of everything I know about outer space I learned through Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica. And, you know, those are all works of fiction.

Someone who does know a lot about outer space, and doesn’t get their information from any sort of Netflix binge, is Stephen Hawking. He truthfully knows a TON about the universe, how it works and — maybe most importantly — why it works the way it does. During a lecture at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, Hawking dropped some major truth-bombs about the universe, and revealed his newest theory about black holes.

Black holes are regions in space with such a strong gravitational pull that no light can escape. Many black holes are believed to be formed when a star collapses and dies — and they’re actually way more complicated than that, but this is the general gist we need to know for Hawking’s explanation. Black holes have remained a major scientific mystery because their gravitational force sucks in everything around it, and that includes information about their own origins (particles from the collapsed star and such). So how can we study these black holes if all the information about them is stored inside, in some sort of darkness void?

Hawking’s newest theory suggests we’ve been searching in the wrong place for this information. He now believes that black holes aren’t storing their information inside their void, but rather on the outskirts.

“I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole, as one might expect, but on its boundary, the event horizon,” Hawking explained at his lecture. “The information is stored in a super translation of the horizon that the ingoing particles [from the source star] cause.” This information is “returned” back outside the black hole, but in a jumbled mess that’s still hard to understand.

According to the Washington Post, Hawking described this (for everyone who doesn’t understand science lingo) as burning an encyclopedia, but keeping its ashes: “You wouldn’t technically lose any information if you kept all of the ashes in one place, but you’d have a hard time looking up the capital of Minnesota.” This is huge, because it may lead to scientists finding more information about the origins of black holes and the universe in general.

And another thing: Hawking also believes that these black holes can lead to other dimensions — so all those movies could be TRUE.

“The hole would need to be large, and if it was rotating, it might have a passage to another universe. But you couldn’t come back to our universe,” he explained during the lecture. “So, although I’m keen on spaceflight, I’m not going to try that.” Any volunteers willing to prove Hawking’s theories?

(Image via Paramount Pictures)


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