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Hawking Gracefully, Formally Loses Black Hole Bet

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the fails-to-give-wheelchair-ride dept.

Space 485

Liora writes "Today at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin, Cambridge University professor Stephen Hawking said in his talk titled The Information Paradox for Black Holes that he was wrong about the formation of an event horizon in a black hole, and that matter is not destroyed in a way defying subatomic theory, as he had previously believed. According to the talk's short, "the way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon." A New York Times story and a Wired story are available, both apparently based on Reuters information." (This is the formal announcement promised last week.)

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obNoRegLink (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765236)

I once asked the Slashdot editors why they didn't replace reg-required NYT links with reg-free links. They pointed out that there is a chance that the NYT could get its panties in a wad, and do something stupid. Lawsuits, goatse redirects, the works. Lawsuits... that would just be wrong!

Anyway, here's the obligatory reg-free link:
Are you looking at ME? [nytimes.com]

(Courtesy of these fine folks [blogspace.com] )

Re:obNoRegLink (2, Informative)

dynamo (6127) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765298)

better than that is bugmenot.com which will give you a user/pass for any website on the web - or if there isn't one yet, allow you to add one to their database. it's great for reading news and avoiding any kind of compulsory registration.

we have to show web sites that forcing registration for marketing / tracking purposes leads to a reg database full of crap.

Re:obNoRegLink (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765481)

we have to show web sites that forcing registration for marketing / tracking purposes leads to a reg database full of crap.

Actually, doing this leads to the NYT having a smaller database, including one entry for all users that share the login. I think the site is a good idea, but its probably doing them a favor, by letting many users who almost never view their site use a single logend. This is better (for them) than a database full of people that visit the site every 6-12 months. But it is probably not really sticking it to them.

Re:obNoRegLink (0, Flamebait)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765435)

"I once asked the Slashdot editors why they didn't replace reg-required NYT links with reg-free links. They pointed out that there is a chance that the NYT could get its panties in a wad, and do something stupid. Lawsuits, goatse redirects, the works. Lawsuits... that would just be wrong!"/I.

Seeing as how Slashdot is shamelessly leeching off of NYT's hard work, I don't see why ANYBODY feels they have the right to complain that Slashdot posts registration-req links.

Re:obNoRegLink (0, Offtopic)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765511)

Seeing as how Slashdot is shamelessly leeching off of NYT's hard work, I don't see why ANYBODY feels they have the right to complain that Slashdot posts registration-req links.
It would be better if they'd just stop using the NYT as a source. Any idiot could find other articles [google.com] about the same topic.

Black hole bet? (-1, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765238)

Hawking Gracefully, Formally Loses Black Hole Bet

Does that have anything to do with the GNAA?

Fails to give wheelchair ride? (-1, Troll)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765241)

I can't believe that the editors have stooped to this level. We have come to an age where people can share information without being harassed about their physical mishaps, however the people who deliver this very information still find a way to make fun of others disablities.

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765308)

Who the hell modded this up? HELLOOOO? MOD ON CRACK!!

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765367)

I'm with this guy. Parent poster is a fucktard.

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765402)

It's not nice to make fun of someone just because he's a fucktard. How would you feel if you were a fucktard and people were pointing at you and laughing like, hey, look, what a fucktard!

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765564)

What do you mean 'if'?

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765376)

I thought it was funny. Does that make me a bad person?

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (5, Interesting)

BlueCup (753410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765417)

I can understand how someone could find this offensive, but, I think it's just a little too harsh.

I personally have a handicap, and to be honest, I appreciate when people make jokes about it... I don't consider them cruel or offcolor, (except in the rare cases they are delivered with the intent of being cruel) to me its an acknowledgement of me as a person that someone can still treat as an equal. I doubt that there are many people who don't hold Hawking in extremely high esteem, and I in no way believe comments made by people who respect him in refference to his handicap would offend him, rather the people who try to ignore the obvious.

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765430)

I can't believe that the editors have stooped to this level. We have come to an age where people can share information without being harassed about their physical mishaps, however the people who deliver this very information still find a way to make fun of others disablities.

Welcome to a brave new world where the gimp is called "physically challenged", the blind "visually deficient", the dumb "mentally differently abled" and where any joke who may offend anybody about anything is forbidden by the political thought police.

Guess what ModernGeek? I'm "different" and I laugh when people crack jokes about my differences. You obviously couldn't see a funny joke if it put on a silly hat and bit you on the behind. You make me sad...

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (1)

tim_mathews (585933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765515)

Welcome to a brave new world where the gimp is called "physically challenged", the blind "visually deficient", the dumb "mentally differently abled" and where any joke who may offend anybody about anything is forbidden by the political thought police.

Have you ever noticed that it's never a bunch of blind guys or a bunch of parapalegics that make up these silly little labels like physically challenged? Instead it's a bunch of people who are offended that the people these labels are for aren't offended. What I think is that these people who make up these things were socially inept growing up and so afraid of what others thought of them that they spent all of their time thinking about what to say to other people so that they would be accepted that they never bothered to pull their heads out of their asses and look around and listen to what other people said. Whew! Too much of a sentence.

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (1)

Crazy_MYKL (721064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765484)

You also are disabled, lacking a sense of humor.

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (0, Offtopic)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765487)

Ok, my Karma Whoring didn't work, and you guys aren't as stiff as I thought. Look at the forum on my site, and you'll see I'm not stuck up.

Re:Fails to give wheelchair ride? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765506)

" We have come to an age where people can share information without being harassed about their physical mishaps, however the people who deliver this very information still find a way to make fun of others disablities."

Hmm..

I can't decide whether to nod my head approvingly or just arrive at the conclusion that some people need thicker skins.

I'm leaning towards "The words only hurt if you let them" right now. The net-effect of Political Correctness would appear to be over-sensitivity.

Hawking's Brown Hole (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765243)

You know you wanna bang it!

how many....didn't he already....what the..... (5, Funny)

d474 (695126) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765252)

I've been hearing about this for like 4 days now... Is Slashdot turning into a News Black Hole?

Re:how many....didn't he already....what the..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765462)

Turning into?

Re:how many....didn't he already....what the..... (4, Funny)

Epistax (544591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765557)

"Turning into" implies that it wasn't previously.

Jews did WTC! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765253)

LOL @ Hawking
LOL @ 9/11
LOL @ WTC
LOL @ Jews
Jews did WTC!

Good for Hawking (4, Insightful)

neilcSD (743335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765257)

It's great to see such an eminent scientist willingly admit that he was wrong, or at least only partially right. It seems that all too often the path that people and organizations choose is to deny, spin, and turn things on their heads to avoid embarassment. Hawking showed he is a good sport, proving not only does he have a brilliant mind, he is a classy person as well.

Like Einstein? (1)

Smeagel (682550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765265)

Wasted the good part of his later life trying to disprove theories that are pretty much known to be true today.

Re:Like Einstein? (5, Insightful)

Xoro (201854) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765392)

Wasted? Nonsense.

The objections Einstein posed to quantum theory were not spurious fluff, but hard-nosed challenges that any successful theory would have to meet. He made Bohr sweat more than once.

Would you prefer we just let something as absurd as quantum mechanics just slide? Scientists might as well all join the monestaries again.

Your statement "pretty much known to be true" is timid and sugary. Bring on the Einsteins.

I wasn't trying to put down Einstein (1)

Smeagel (682550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765500)

I was actually trying to point out some irony. This guy bashes people who are hard nosed, and Einstein was one of them. I'm willing to bet this guy wouldn't have put Einstein in that group of people that refuse to give up on their idea even in the face of evidence that points the other way.

Re:Good for Hawking (4, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765288)

I agree. A true gentleman and brilliant mind. It would be nice if others could follow his example, like Politicians, SCO, everyone in Hollywood.

Re:Good for Hawking (3, Interesting)

bs_02_06_02 (670476) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765459)

I think most university researchers or professors have a tremendous ego problem. I don't see Hawking having that problem which makes him far more likeable. He's almost humble, and has a great sense of humor.

I've never been very tolerant of arrogant professors. They often believe they can't be wrong, and that it's absurd to suggest that there's an alternative to their way of thinking.
I've also seen professors claim others' ideas as their own.

Re:Good for Hawking (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765563)

"Throw him in the tube. It was my idea."

Re:Good for Hawking (4, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765311)

A sad state the world is in when someone not being an asshole is surprising.

Re:Good for Hawking (2, Informative)

Owndapan (789196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765403)

According to the legend Hawking made the bet against what he believed with the intention of proving himself wrong. That way if he has wrong he could say at least he won the bet (as a consolation prize). So I don't know if hedging your bets counts as admitting you were wrong!

Some more info here [slashdot.org] , but you can probably google for some *real* information ;)

Hawking Believes in Time Travel (-1, Flamebait)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765404)

Hawking is a con artist who believes in time travel. There are neither black holes not wormholes. It's all a con game. None of the voodoo physics stuff that Hawking has been working on is of any consequence or value.

Re:Hawking Believes in Time Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765431)

What are you, Jerry Faldwell?

Re:Good for Hawking (1)

astrodud (43361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765409)

I don't see why everyone thinks it's so noteworthy that Hawking admitted he's wrong. That's the way most people should behave. That's the way most respected scientists behave. Unfortunately that's exactly the opposite of the way our current preeminant politicians behave.

Cricket vs Baseball (-1, Flamebait)

sebi (152185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765262)

[...] and gave him a baseball book as a prize.

"I am now ready to concede the bet," said Hawking, 62. "I offered him an encyclopedia of cricket, but John wouldn't be persuaded of (its) superiority."

Cricket is superior? I guess that is an easy claim to make if you are a certified genius. I prefer watching sports I can actually understand, thank you very much.

Re:Cricket vs Baseball (0)

E_elven (600520) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765320)

Ug mad at Ag. Ug hit Ag. Ug win. Oh no. Big TWIST of season. Og alive. Og kill Ug. Og rich now.

Re:Cricket vs Baseball (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765329)

You'll love this! [mindball.se]

you have to wonder... (0, Redundant)

qkw (755948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765263)

how do they actually know for certain what goes on in black holes?

aren't there just mere hyoptheses? gedanken?

maybe i should stop thinking about this and start thinking about work...

My theory... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765347)

Send someone in on a string. Give it a good hard tug.

If they come out ok - black holes are cool and can spit out matter.

If they come out mangled, or you're left with a frayed end on said string, black holes are not cool and best stayed away from...

More info.. (3, Funny)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765266)

Wired says: The best-selling author of "A Brief History of Time"

I didn't know hawking sold so well ;-)

Anyway, to be on topic - can someone give more technical information on this? Many of us probably have a fairly high understanding of maths and physics, and want more details...

Re:More info.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765346)

Wired says: The best-selling author of "A Brief History of Time"

I didn't know hawking sold so well ;-)


Man, I hurt for you just reading what you just posted.

Let me guess, and you don't know Beethoven because you're not so keen on painting? How does it feel to look ignorant, and on Slashdot on top of that?

Re:More info.. (2, Informative)

MrDigital (741552) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765374)

Maybe I'm missing your obvious sarcasm, but "A Brief History of Time" was a monster hit.

You can read more here: National Academies Press [nap.edu]

"Entering the Sunday Times best-seller list within two weeks of publication, it rapidly reached number one, where it remained unchallenged throughout the summer. The book had already broken many records and indeed went on to break them all stay- ing on the list in Britain for a staggering 234 weeks, and notching up British sales in excess of 600,000 in hardback before Hawking's publisher Bantam decided to paperback the book in 1995."
^-- and that's in Britain only. Who knows how many more in the US.

Re:More info.. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765446)

Maybe I'm missing your obvious sarcasm, but "A Brief History of Time" was a monster hit.

It referred to him as a best-selling author of the book. Not the author of the best-selling book. This sentence structure tends to indicate that the author was sold many times, as "best-selling" modified the author. It wasn't sarcasm. It was a grammar flame.

Re:More info.. (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765494)

But a particularily pedantic at best, and wrong at worst, grammar flame. The construction 'best-selling author' is used very frequently and is well established. You are being much much too literal.

For instance, I could say "Best-selling author Stephen King's new book Big Scary Stuff comes out on Friday", meaning that King has best-selling books. This is distinct from "Stephen King is the author of the best-seller Jurassic Park", for the latter means that particular book was a best-seller. For one final example to make the distinction clear, I could also say "Best-selling author Stephen King's first book was This Little Novel No One Ever Has Heard of Or Bought" even though the book isn't a best-seller.

So Stephen Hawking is indeed the best-selling author of the best-selling book A Brief History of Time.

Re:More info.. (1)

Saturninus (691651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765560)

I own a copy of that book. I love it.

BBC Article (5, Interesting)

Tremyl (789061) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765269)

For those avoiding registration, the BBC also has an story [bbc.co.uk] . My favorite part was the response of John Preskill, the other side of the bet. From the BBC article,
Later, Preskill said he was very pleased to have won the bet but added, "I'll be honest, I didn't understand the talk." He said he was looking forward to reading the detailed paper that Hawking is expected to publish next month.
Physics is a wonderful place, where not even the physicists know what the hell is going on!

Re:BBC Article (1, Interesting)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765318)

Physics is a wonderful place, where not even the physicists know what the hell is going on!

Seventy years ago, Einstein estimated that there were only two people in the world who understood general relativity, and he was one of them.

Re:BBC Article (5, Interesting)

ebassi (591699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765397)

Seventy years ago, Einstein estimated that there were only two people in the world who understood general relativity, and he was one of them.

Einstein said that, at that time, only three people in the world understood General Relativity. When a reporter asked Arthur Eddington (the second best person that, in fact, did know general relativity) for confirmation, he replied that he could not recall the third one.

Re:BBC Article (1)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765413)

That statement is complete nonsense. Einstein never said it, and MANY people understood it in 1934.

Re:BBC Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765483)

IIRC it was 5 and it was Teller who said it in 1942 or something

Re:BBC Article (0)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765552)

Physics is a wonderful place, where not even the physicists know what the hell is going on!

This way they con the rest of the world and make lots of money doing it. Is not Hawking a believer in time travel and is not time travel crackpot stuff?

bet was more of a joke (3, Insightful)

oneiron (716313) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765272)

I really don't understand why the bet sneaks into every headline about this story. Why are humans so obsessed with who was right and wrong? That we have the information is all that really matters...

Re:bet was more of a joke (1)

BlueCup (753410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765317)

There really isn't all that much to understand. Adding it certainly doesn't take away from the knowledge gained, it's just a humourous addition to the story, that to some makes it more interesting. At the very least it humanizes the people who made this discovery.

bet indicates significance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765336)

The fact that eminent physicists had a long-standing bet on this subject is an indicator to the rest of us about the question's importance and difficulty.

Re:bet was more of a joke (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765339)

The bet is an interesting story in its own right.

We care about who was right and who was wrong because we look to these people to be our guides and priests in their chose areas of expertise. Reports on who was right and who was wrong are important to us when we make decisions about who to trust, and who to respect in matters of physics.

Re:bet was more of a joke (2, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765361)

really don't understand why the bet sneaks into every headline about this story. Why are humans so obsessed with who was right and wrong?

It's more to show that even the most eminent and revered are human, and it's reassuring to know these people aren't so far out of touch as to not have a bit of fun now and again.

For example, I went to a lecture by Sir Patrick Moore [wikipedia.org] , at which he was asked questions as to whether he believed the electrical universe theory [kronia.com] could be correct. His answer? "I hope not, I owe a crate of whiskey to its originator should that prove to be true...".

Cheers,
Ian

Re:bet was more of a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765370)

Truth is the basis for preservation of life. The pursuit of accuracy in one's informed view of the world is the difference between survival and not. So, who is right or wrong about anything as grandiose as cosmic structures which could suck up the Earth and end all of our lives is somewhat important. Just remember to keep it all in perspective. But that requires knowing what is true or not and creating a corresponding value scale. The truth is evil men rule the world and they must be stopped. Hawkings' sideshow is just a distraction.

Re:bet was more of a joke (1)

maxchaote (796339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765414)

Why are humans so obsessed with who was right and wrong?

Sorry... obligatory reply: Because it's so darn much fun! [amirightorwrong.com]

Re:bet was more of a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765442)

I bet you were on the losing side. Oneiron thought black holes destroyed information! Oneiron thought black holes destroyed information! Nyah nyah!

*smirk*

My brother, my mother, and I were once at the dinner table, and me 'n' my brother were snarfing down the food really fast. Mom said, "It's not a race!" and I said, "Of course you would say that, since you're in 3rd place."

No parallel universes? Bastard! (5, Funny)

straponego (521991) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765275)

...that was the best thing I had going for me. It's what got me through the day. What do I have to look forward to now? Nothing, that's what!

Re:No parallel universes? Bastard! (1)

neilcSD (743335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765289)

Well, at least you've still got that alternate reality you live in. ;)

Oh, I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765429)

I've never really understood why people thought black holes were the gateways to parallel universes, it's a bit like saying "Look! There's a hole where you get crushed infinitely and light doesn't escape, it must be a way out!" which strikes me as rather odd...

Hopefully though, there'll be different kinds of holes in the universe - the kinds that are more like doors and let you come and go freely without the need to switch on the headlights and crack open the paracetamol...

Domestic violence is so sad (1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765277)

Is he still getting beaten up by his wife? Its always heartbreaking when a leading physicist is abused at the hands of a female loved one. Oddly enough, such things never happen to chemists or biologists. Go figure....

Re:Domestic violence is so sad (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765379)

But thankfully they happen to David friggin Guest [hated-celebrities.co.uk]

We frat boys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765278)

We frat boys just refer to him as "Spaz".

By the way, who's the honey giving him the hand jobs? She earns every penny. Ick.

Yikes (2, Funny)

dirty (13560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765280)

"The Euclidean path integral over all topologically trivial metrics can be done by time slicing and so is unitary when analytically continued to the Lorentzian. On the other hand, the path integral over all topologically non-trivial metrics is asymptotically independent of the initial state. Thus the total path integral is unitary and information is not lost in the formation and evaporation of black holes. The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon."

That man is way too smart to be a human.

Re:Yikes (3, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765342)

You don't understand it? It's pretty straightforward: a black hole has an event horizon, but nothing ever actually crosses it. The information can be retrieved from the black hole because it was never inside the event horizon.

Re:Yikes (5, Funny)

photonrider (571060) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765344)

dang! babelfish doesn't have a "genius to english" translation.

He Better Pay.... (1, Funny)

Sideshow Coward (732864) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765282)

Or else they'll send someone to break his knee caps, or the wheels on his chair.

Re:He Better Pay.... (0, Flamebait)

neilcSD (743335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765307)

Piss-poor attempt at humor. Someone should break YOUR kneecaps for that statement.

Re:He Better Pay.... (1)

BlueCup (753410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765332)

Awww, it was a little bit funny. I laughed. Sure maybe it was a little morbid, but certainly not enough to be offended by it.

Re:He Better Pay.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765486)

Stop being so flipping offended at everything. Gosh!

UserFriendly (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765283)

Userfriendly.org [userfriendly.org] had a funny take on the payment of this bet.

FREE IPOD!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765306)

http://www.freeiPods.com/default.aspx?referer=7193 474

Baloney! (-1, Troll)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765309)

Now who sent something into a black hole, and observed what happened? No one. One theory has been replaced by another theory, but neither has been tested, and neither can be tested. No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney!

Riiight... (2, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765360)

... because there's just no way the whole disagreement--and its resolution--could possibly based on the mathematics of black holes, or anything, right?

Re:Riiight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765399)

Your trying to make fun of a guy named MacDaddy?

Re:Baloney! (1)

Teddyman (307626) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765450)

And you have failed to understand why there's a 'theoretical' in theoretical physics.

Re:Baloney! (1)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765539)

One theory has been replaced by another theory, but neither has been tested, and neither can be tested. No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney!

A theory in theoretical physics being taken seriously for its own sake? Baloney, alright! I for one won't be taking all this talk about black holes seriously until I see this Hawking chap dropping something off the leaning tower of pisa or getting hit in the head by an apple.

So..... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765310)

So, does this mean that you cant go to hell, [imdb.com] and back, bringing god knows what into our universe? What a rip off!

Re:So..... Event Horizon/The Black Hole (1)

adzoox (615327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765356)

The movie The Black Hole was about hell too - and a cool robot ends up being the devil - this may mean that the devil will take take the shape of a cool robot either! Dang!

The point is... (-1, Troll)

djcreamy (729099) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765315)

In between beatings from his wife, he figured out he was wrong. I'll bet he lowers the seat now too (however it works for him).

Hawking and his books. (1)

Teancom (13486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765322)

I'm probably not alone in that my understanding (flawed as it is) of the Theory of Relativity, Quantum physics, and other Big Science Questions is based almost entirely on "A Brief History of Time" and "The Universe in a Nutshell". Well, that and "Cosmos" :-). But in those two books, he does an excellent job of explaining, well, *the universe* in a way that even I can understand. And that is no mean feat! So hats off to Hawking, may you lay down the phat [mchawking.com] beats for many more years to come!

Re:Hawking and his books. (2, Interesting)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765545)

But in those two books, he does an excellent job of explaining, well, *the universe* in a way that even I can understand.

Several years ago (well, it's probably more like 10 now...ugh) I saw Hawkings give a lecture aimed at the layman to a packed theatre. It was really very impressive -- despite the nature of what he was talking about and his physical limitations, he was engaging, humourous, and very understandable. He's a credit to his field and science in general -- not only through his intellectual achievements, but also through the class and humanity with which he conducts himself.

Well... Duh (5, Funny)

SkaterGeek (755048) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765349)

Well... Obviously he's going to loose gracefully. Its not like he can get up and start yelling at the other guy. His chair probably doesn't even have an "Angry" voice

Note to all you freshman physics students (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765358)

See this paragraph,
"Thus the total path integral is unitary and information is not lost in the formation and evaporation of black holes. The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon."
The above paragraph is what's known in the physics trade as hand waving.
Remember it well. It will get you out of a jam every time.

he is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765364)

No in a black hole the matter (or in this case energy) gets transferred into "503 Service Unavailable" and stuck in a consistant loop until a new event horizon is formed.

Baseball?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765382)

(particle physicist, John) Preskill received an encyclopedia on baseball as his reward.

Wow - a whole encyclopedia on a baseball ? It must be printed at subatomic scale.

Obligatory Futurma episode quotation (5, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765401)

Fry: Hey! Stephen Hawking! Aren't you that physicist who invented gravity?
Hawking: Sure. Why not?
Fry: Let me ask you something. Has anyone ever discovered a hole in nothing with monsters in it? [Hawking's eyes widen in horror.] 'Cause if I'm the first, I want them to call it a "Fry Hole."

Later:

Fry: So what do you nerds want?
Nichols: It's about that rip in space-time that you saw.
Hawking: I call it a "Hawking Hole."
Fry: No fair! I saw it first!
Hawking: Who is The Journal Of Quantum Physics going to believe?

Interesting note: Apparently Stephen Hawking did provide his voice for that episode.

Aww crap! (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765437)

So now all those aliens that got sucked into black holes in the seventies will be back in future Startrek etc episodes.

Hawkings' Theory Nothing New (-1, Troll)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765441)

The Bush Administration was actually the first to find a practical application for this model of a black hole, where information goes in and eventually comes out mangled and unrecognizable. It's obviously how they processed the CIA's intel on Iraq prior to the invasion.

Re:Hawkings' Theory Nothing New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765492)

Well, your joke aside, it appears that you took in the 9/11 commission's report, and mangled it into an unrecognizable form before forming your opinion (or could, perchance, the problem be that you formed an opinion before knowing the facts, eh?) (No, surely not the always-logically-sound Slashdot crowd!)

Dupe!!!! (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765443)

From the article:


(This is the formal announcement promised last week.)


Great! Now they are programming dupes one week in advance...

Matter can escape!? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765456)

Oh damn, that means there's gonna be a sequel to Event Horizon... :o(

He just doesn't get it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9765460)

A bit pathetic, selling lies for 20 years, then flip-flopping with something even more fantastic (and even uncheckable).

The Bible is unshakable in its true creation story. Yes, I know - let the flames come.

But before you do, you are all logic-thinking guys (so am I), so you will admire facts that at the very least question if evolution theory is valid as a mere theory. Check this out before you flame and be bold enough to use your brains, not your emotions:
http://www.modomedia.com/quantum/index.html [modomedia.com]

God has made the earth, the heavens and everything on it. Even us, humans. That's humiliating eh?

Re:He just doesn't get it (1, Insightful)

Machine9 (627913) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765568)

we just need a +x religious zealot mod option, so that those posts can be filtered out of sight by people who don't give a rat's ass if god exists or not.

wonderful editors (1)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765473)

2004-07-16 23:06:13 Steven Hawking changes tune on black holes (Science,Space) (rejected)

i'm sure no one wanted to read about this 5 days ago...

The Article in Wired seems a little confused. (1)

eggplantpasta (74715) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765488)

The NYT one is more accurate.

For the grammatically challenged (5, Funny)

Hypharse (633766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9765528)

From the speech synopsis:
The Euclidean path integral over all topologically trivial metrics can be done by time slicing and so is unitary when analytically continued to the Lorentzian. On the other hand, the path integral over all topologically non-trivial metrics is asymptotically independent of the initial state. Thus the total path integral is unitary and information is not lost in the formation and evaporation of black holes. The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon.

For those grammatically declined I'll explain it to you with an analogy. It's like when you were in high school and used mirrors to peek around the corner into the girl's locker room. The naked chick in the mirror is the APPARANT horizon. The naked chick that kicks the testes back inside your body shortly after DOES NOT EXIST.

Also, just for laughs (ok...hopefully for mod points too, I admit) Hawking is also a freaking awesome DJ and serial killer on the side. All my Shootin's be driveby's [berkeley.edu]

Wu's site [berkeley.edu] has other cool stuff to see too. (not a plug, just want to give credit to where the song is downloaded from)

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