The Israeli physicists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology decided to create artificial black holes and see if Stephen Hawking was right that these objects could emit radiation, although nothing really escapes the grasp of their more powerful gravity.
The late, eminent physicist Stephen Hawking believed that despite the fact that once the particles cross the event horizon, they can no longer escape from the center of the black hole because their escape velocity is higher than the velocity of light. Meanwhile, however, Hawking suggested that the so-called virtual particles are free to get out of them. This phenomenon is referred to as Hawking radiation.
Israeli scientists created nearly 100,000 black holes 0.1 mm in size, which consisted of 8,000 rubidium atoms in gaseous form. Their goal was to observe whether pairs of photons would appear at the edge of the event horizon. It must be emphasized here that this space is empty, so particles are supposed to appear from a vacuum, that is, from nothing. The assumption was that one of the photons would fall into the black hole and the other would leave it. Therefore, the radiation is to be stationary.
Scientists used the analog equivalent of Hawking radiation, i.e. photons, in the form of sound waves. Rubidium atoms are rushing faster than sound, so they shouldn’t come out of the black hole. Meanwhile, outside the black hole, the sound waves were moving normally. During the course of the experiment, the scientists did not believe their eyes when it turned out that one wave fell behind the event horizon and the other came out.
It means that Stephen Hawking was right, at least on a small scale. Not only is radiation stationary, it also arises from nothing. How is real black holes, is it happening to the same phenomenon? We don’t know yet. It won’t be easy to prove it. NASA informs that the solution to this mystery will not take place in the coming years, due to the fact that humanity does not yet have the technology to do so.
The observation of Hawking radiation in black holes will not be possible with any current or even planned for launch into space telescopes and those that are just in the conceptual phase. Experts believe that large-scale research on this phenomenon is a matter of several decades. Why is it so important? Because if Hawking radiation does exist, it will change our view of the universe.
So far we know that black holes devour everything around. In the future, such objects will eat up all the matter in the universe and themselves, until there is only one massive black hole left. Meanwhile, if matter is able to escape from the more powerful gravity of black holes, it means that such a dark vision will never come true, because despite the absorption of matter by these objects, some part of them flows freely from them, thus maintaining the balance in the universe.
Source: GeekWeek.pl/Nature/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology / Fot. NASA / Pexels
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