Did Death cheat Nobel Prize-winning Stephen Hawking?
When the iconic physicist died on March 14, 2018, he already had the data to confirm the ominous and widespread predictions he made over 40 years ago. Dr. Hawking believed that the black hole, the fate of gravity, would only grow, never shrink. Swallowing information threatens the ability to track the history of the universe.
The data was taken in 2015 when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) recorded signals from two large black holes that collided and created a larger black hole.
Dr. Hawking’s predictions were the first important step in a series of insights into black holes that transformed modern physics. At stake is whether Einstein’s gravity, which forms the larger universe, works according to the same rules as quantum mechanics, a paradoxical rule that extends inside an atom.
A confirmation of Dr. Hawking’s predictions was announced in a Physical Review letter this summer. A team led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Maximiliano Isi and his colleagues spent years digging into the details of LIGO’s results, finally announcing in July that Dr. Hawking was right, at least for this particular black man. Did. Hole collision.
Matthew Giesler, a researcher at Cornell University and a member of Dr. Ishi’s team, said in an email, “This is an exciting test because it is a long-desired result that cannot be achieved in laboratories on Earth. “. “This test required studying the merger of two black holes over a billion light-years apart, which could not have been easily achieved without LIGO and its unprecedented detector.”
No one claims to know the heart of the Nobel Prize Committee, and the names of the award-nominated people will be kept secret for another 50 years. However, many scientists agree that Dr. Ishi’s confirmation of Dr. Hawking’s predictions may have targeted Dr. Hawking and the co-authors of his definitive papers on the Nobel Prize.
However, the Nobel Prize cannot be awarded after death. Dr. Ishi’s result was too late.
When the Nobel Prize week returns on Monday, certain scientists want a phone call to anoint and summon them as winners at a spectacular ceremony in Stockholm on December 10th (this year). , Because of the pandemic, the award is the winner’s home country.)
Perhaps one of the most famous and prestigious researchers, Dr. Hawking, has never won the Nobel Prize and is now never. His story reminds us of how the ultimate fame award is influenced by the whims of fate.
Stunned of the universe
The story began in 1970, and Dr. Hawking was preparing his bed one night. This is a difficult task for men who are already half paralyzed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lugeric’s disease.
According to Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, he was thinking of black holes. Gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. They are portholes to infinity.
All black holes are surrounded by the event horizon, with invisible bubbles marking a irreversible boundary. What you enter will never come out. Dr. Hawking realized that Einstein’s theory also meant that the horizon of black hole events never diminished. Black holes only increase mass, so the total surface area of the event horizon only increases.
That was a bold idea. Nature didn’t have to work that way. What if a black hole could split in two or spatter and disappear like a soap bubble?
Dr. Hawking’s insights were the cornerstone of his 1973 paper, “The Four Laws of Black Hole Thermodynamics,” written with James Bardeen, now at the University of Washington, and Brandon Carter, now at the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique. ..
These laws also included a nasty conclusion in physics called the “Black Hole Hair Loss Theorem”. The event horizon surface area is a measure of all the information swallowed by a black hole. Whether it consumes matter or antimatter, Tesla or Volkswagen, ostriches or whales is exactly the same as a black hole. Black holes have only three properties: mass, spin, and charge. No other details, or “hair”, will be registered.
This theorem meant that as black holes became older and the event horizon grew, so did the amount of information lost about what was inside. The universe grows and grows, perhaps hiding more and more details of its past, including your existence. The conundrum deepened when Dr. Hawking calculated in 1974 that a quantum effect would slowly leak and explode a black hole.
The quest to understand what happens to the information in a black hole has transformed basic physics and energized a generation of young theorists. At stake is whether Einstein’s gravity, which governs the universe, and quantum mechanics, which governs the universe, work according to the same rules.
“It all started with Hawking’s perception that the total horizon area of a black hole could never go down,” said Dr. Ishi.
However, Dr. Hawking’s idea could not be tested because there was no black hole to experiment with.
LIGO will change that. This was promised to Dr. Hawking in 2003 by Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology and one of the founders of LIGO. The new array will be able to classify black hole characteristics by Dr. Hawking. I turned 70 in 2012.
“Your gift is that our gravitational wave detectors (LIGO, GEO, Virgo, LISA) will test your golden age black hole predictions and start testing before your 70th birthday.” Remembered what Dr. Thorn recently told him. ..
It took longer for LIGO to observe the first groundbreaking event, two colliding black holes — until September 14, 2015. By collating the detected wave patterns with computer simulations, the LIGO team concluded that one of the black holes was 36 times the sun and the other was 29 times the sun, for a total of 65 suns. The collision resulted in a new black hole with a mass of about 62 suns. In the gravitational waves that shook the universe, the energy equivalent to the three suns disappeared.
This observation not only confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, as Einstein predicted 100 years ago, but also provided the first direct evidence of a black hole.
A leaked copy of the discovery paper arrived at Dr. Hawking a few days before the official announcement of the discovery. He was surprised that he could not find any mention of the four laws of black hole thermodynamics, or the possibility that the findings would test them. He Skypeed the author of the treatise, Dr. Thorne.
“Stephen is very surprised,” Dr. Thorn wrote to a colleague.
No one was thinking of checking the laws of black hole mechanics, and it was too late to add anything to the paper. Moreover, as Dr. Thorn recently explained, the data was too noisy to measure the size of the newly formed black hole enough to confirm Dr. Hawking’s theory.
In 2017, Dr. Geesler, then a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, and his colleagues used numerical simulations of colliding black holes to explore the vortex of the end.
When a newly fused black hole is formed, it vibrates. Produces basic and harmonic overtones (overtones or bass), much like a drum. Early in the merger process, the overtones turned out to be surprisingly loud, Dr. Geesler found. Using these overtones, in 2019 he and his colleagues proved the “black hole hair loss theorem” that black holes can be explained by only three parameters.
This summer, they were able to extend their analysis by taking advantage of the new black hole overtones to measure their size. They conclude that the area of the horizon of the new black hole event has increased, as Dr. Hawking predicted long ago.
If he was still alive, would this give Dr. Hawking the Nobel Prize?
“I don’t feel …