When Stephen Hawking speaks, the science community listens. When he declares one his own theories wrong, the whole world takes notice.
Such is the case after acclaimed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking presented a new theory on black holes and “event horizons” through a four-page article titled Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes, published through arXiv. Hawking does a complete one-eighty on theories surrounding the stellar enigmas he presented some forty years previous.
This controversy behind his new line of thinking revolves around a generally accepted theory known as the “firewall paradox.” Miriam Kramer, from Yahoo.com explains:
“This paradox pits Einstein’s theory of general relativity against quantum theory in the context of a black hole,” she writes. “The paradox, developed by Polchinski and colleagues about two years ago, is based upon a thought experiment about would happen to a person if he or she fell into a black hole.”
But now Hawking suggests, with the release of this new article, that this may not be the case:
“The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes – in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity,” Hawking writes. “There are however apparent horizons which persist for a period of time.”
In addition to shaking up the fundamentals of time and space, Stephen Hawking has been also been the topic of conversation in anticipation of the autobiographical PBS documentary airing tonight January 29, 2014. Told largely in his own words and simply titled Hawking the documentary follows the acclaimed astrophysicist “from boyhood under-achiever to PhD genius, and from a healthy cox on the Oxford rowing team to diagnosis of motor neuron disease, given just two years to live — yet surviving several close brushes with death,” according to PBS.
In addition to chronicling his tough journey with motor neurone disease (known more commonly as Lou Gehrig’s disease), which has rendered him immobile and without the ability to speak, the film also attempts to show another side of Hawking to the world at large.
“The film offers rare insights into Hawking’s life, past and present,” Broadwayworld.com reports, “Aided by a cast of stellar contributors and Hawking fans, including astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., actors Jim Carrey and Benedict Cumberbatch, mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.”Hawking debuts on Wednesday January 29th at 10 p.m., EST and will air again on Saturday, February 1st at 10 p.m. EST.