March 2, 2024

“Unproven” – Was Hawking wrong about black holes?

  1. Homepage
  2. Let's know

Work by a well-known mathematician wants to show that Stephen Hawking was wrong about the “inner workings” of black holes – and it's apparently convincing work.

FRANKFURT – Black holes are mysterious celestial objects that researchers can now photograph, but cannot look into. However, we think we know what's going on inside, thanks to famous researchers. The brilliant scientists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, winners of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics, explained in the 1970s that the so-called singularity occurs at the center of black holes. This means a place where gravity is so strong that it becomes infinite.

This fact is now contradicted by a New Zealand mathematician who has also been working on black holes for a long time: Roy Kerr. In the work that On the advance print server arXiv publishedBut it has not yet been peer-reviewed, he writes: “Why do so many believe that the star inside should become individual at this moment? Faith, not science! Sixty years without evidence but they believe!”

Black hole singularity: Were Hawking and Penrose wrong?

“It has not been proven that a singularity is inevitable when an event horizon forms around a collapsing star,” Kerr writes, referring to Penrose and Hawking. Hawking and Penrose's point is that the light rays inside a black hole are finite, and so must end up in a singularity. However, Kerr now says that Hawking and Penrose reached the wrong conclusions.

What happens inside a black hole? You can't look inside. (Artist's impression) © imago Images/YAY Images

“This is perhaps the most surprising development in theoretical physics that I have seen in a decade,” wrote theoretical physicist Sabine Hosenfelder of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. on X. in the video She further explains: “Kerr's argument appears to be almost certainly mathematically correct. It is not even a particularly difficult argument, to the shame of many theoretical physicists, myself included.”

But was Kerr right, and were Hawking and Penrose really wrong? Hosenfelder puts it this way: “Just because the evidence contains error, does not mean the conclusion is wrong.” (unpaid bill)