Stephen Hawking's final paper explores disappearing black holes


Among the unknowns that Perry and his colleagues must now explore are how information associated with entropy is physically stored in soft hair and how that information comes out of a black hole when it evaporates. The paper named Black Hole Entropy and Soft Hair, tackles with what happens to information when it falls into a blackhole, a problem that theoretical physicists refer to as "the information paradox", said researchers from Cambridge University in the UK. However, it would agree with the Hawking's equation which can even be found on the late scientist's headstone, describing how black holes are capable of emitting Hawking radiation. Perry, unaware of how ill Hawking had become, reached out to tell him the news. Only a few days before Hawking's death in March the team managed to complete his research.

The study was groundbreaking revealing that even Hawking's original argument was flawed in some way and most importantly that no-hair black hole theories were unfounded.

One of the fundamental tenets of physics is that information can never be completely erased from the universe. Since hot objects lose heat into space, the ultimate fate of a black hole is to evaporate out of existence.

"What this paper does is show that "soft hair" can account for the entropy".

For years, Hawking, together with his colleagues Malcolm Perry, Andrew Strominger, and Sasha Haco, tried to explain what happens to the information contained in the particles that have been sucked into a black hole should the said black hole ceases to exist. These hairs surround the event horizon of a black hole, but how would they work?

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Hawking said this 2010 book co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow was meant to address important unanswered questions such as why there is a universe and whether the universe needed a creator and designer.

"It was very hard for Stephen to communicate and I was put on a loudspeaker to explain where we had got to", Perry told the Guardian.

Marika Taylor, professor of theoretical physics at Southampton University and a former student of Hawking's, said: "Understanding the microscopic origin of this entropy - what are the underlying quantum states that the entropy counts? - has been one of the great challenges of the last 40 years". When I explained it, he simply produced an enormous smile.

That theory is being explored by fellow scientists including Perry, who told the Guardian: "We think it's a pretty good step but there is a lot more work to be done. He knew the final result".