Research: The black hole was imitated under laboratory conditions to prove Stephen Hawking’s challenging theory

Fareeha Arshad

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A study published in the journal ‘Physical Review Research’ has attempted to prove the Hawking Radiation theory as Stephen Hawking described. The group attempted to recreate an instance of a black hole event horizon using a single file chain of atoms. The researchers further explained that black holes give out faint radiation because of virtual particles near the black hole boundaries.

As per the quantum field theory, an empty vacuum does not exist. Instead, the space we assume to be ‘empty’ is filled with small vibrations that sometimes give out virtual particles like the particle-anti-particle pairs responsible for light production. Stephen Hawking put forward a theory in the mid-1970s which postulated that such an event would give out photons in this fashion at the edges of black holes.

However, according to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, gravity affects the space-time concept; therefore, quantum fields become highly disturbed when in close contact with a black hole. Therefore, Hawking’s theory provided an in-depth analysis of Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics that explains the particle behaviour of matter. Despite the promises, it is rather tricky for researchers to accurately detect the light as hypothesized by Hawking, mainly because it is not feasible to travel close to a black hole.

This pushed the researchers to simulate black holes under laboratory conditions to understand Hawking’s theory better. With this study, scientists understood Hawking radiation and realized it needs variation in specific energy configurations of space-time. Thus, this promising study holds the potential towards further explore the field of physics.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I mostly write about history and science.

Texas State
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