Stephen Hawking issues new theory on black holes

Aug 25, 2015, 4:26 PM EDT
British theoretical physicist professor Stephen Hawking attends a symposium during the opening of the PLANCKS event in Amsterdam, on May 23, 2014.

Physicists now have a new theory to contend with regarding black holes and their potential processing of information. World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has suggested that information isn’t stored in black holes, but it escapes in radiation. He suggests that black holes are not the "eternal prisons" they were once thought to be. The Wall Street Journal reports:

In a highly technical presentation delivered to fellow physicists and a handful of other observers, he concluded: “I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but in its boundary, the event horizon.”
Prof. Hawking, 73 years old, had originally suggested that even though a black hole leaks out radiation, that radiation doesn’t carry any information about the material swallowed up inside it. His new idea is that everything that falls in affects the way the Hawking radiation comes out. So information about what gets sucked in is really stored in the Hawking radiation after all. It is thus not lost and quantum mechanics’ crucial tenet isn’t violated.
Physicists at the conference, which was co-organized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics in Stockholm, said it was an interesting theory but needed to be fleshed out further.
Stephen Hawking, who once stunned the scientific community by saying that black holes emit radiation, expounded on another groundbreaking theory on Tuesday.
"The message of this lecture is that black holes ain't as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought," Hawking told a meeting of experts, according to the New Scientist. "Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly come out in another universe."
This, of course, is not what you learned in physics class. What you learned is that once anything made it past a black hole's event horizon, the black hole's super strong gravitational force would suck it in forever. Any information particle sucked in by the hole would also disappear for good.