Stephen Hawking's Theory About How To Escape A Black Hole Will Mess With Your Head

Come again?

Is it possible to escape from a black hole? Most astrophysicists say no. Stephen Hawking? He says maybe.

Speaking in front of a group of reporters and scientists at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Hawking detailed an idea he has about how information can escape the grasp of a black hole — an object so massive that even light can't escape its gravitational pull.

"I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but on its boundary, the event horizon," Hawking said.

So as Wired pointed out, because the event horizon is on the edge of a black hole, whatever "falls" into the hole can escape because it doesn't actually go inside.

Discussing what happens to information at this level is understandably pretty tricky.

Some scientists argue that physical information sucked up by a black hole is lost forever, but others say the laws of quantum mechanics dictate that information can't be destroyed and thus should be retrievable. This conflict is referred to as the "information paradox."

OK, so what does Hawking say about the information paradox?

According to Hawking's idea, if information just sits at the event horizon, it may be retrieved via alternate universes. "The hole would need to be large and if it was rotating it might have a passage to another universe. But you couldn't come back to our universe," Hawking said in a written press release.

"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. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly come out in another universe." 

Mind blown yet? No? Then watch the video of Hawking explaining his thoughts:

(H/T: Huffington Post)

Cover image: Wikimedia