Stephen Hawking theorizes escaping a black hole

Chris Burns - Aug 25, 2015, 3:00 pm CDT
Stephen Hawking theorizes escaping a black hole

Upon the event horizon of a black hole, suggested leading physicist Stephen Hawking this week, information may not be lost. While all matter is sucked into the hole, prevailing theories that all will be lost – are not quite as solid as they were before Hawking spoke. It was at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm this month that Hawking presented a new idea on how information may be able to escape a black hole – a flat, useless form, but released nonetheless.

The doom of information sucked into a black hole is not to remain within that black hole forever, suggested Hawking. While some information may even enter a different dimension, some information may remain behind.

“There’s a way out,” said Hawking.

While quantum mechanics says information cannot be permanently destroyed and there is no information loss in a black hole, information entering a black hole cannot escape.

“This is the information paradox.” It’s been a problem within the world of theoretical physics for decades.

Hawking began by speaking about his paper that suggested “there are no black holes”.

That is to say, there are no black holes “in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity.”

At his talk at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Hawking spoke about his paper which you can read at arxiv in brief under the title “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes.”

“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, in the form of supertranslations of the horizon,” said Hawking at his talk this month.

“The concept of Supertranslations was introduced in 1962 by Bondi, Metzner and Sachs (BMS) to describe the asymptotic group of asymptotically flat space in the presence of gravitational radiation.” Learn more about how our universe may be flatter than we once thought in a recent talk on the holographic principle.


Information stored on the event horizon is theorized by Hawking to be able to travel away from the Black Hole with Hawking radiation. “The information about ingoing particles is returned, but in chaotic and useless form – for all practical purposes, the information is lost.”

So don’t expect panes of glass with imprisoned Superman villains to be flying out of Black Holes any time soon.

For more information, view the short talk with Hawking below, courtesy of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Must Read Bits & Bytes