Black holes are regions in space where gravity is very strong—so strong that nothing that enters them can escape, including light. Theoretical predictions suggest that there is a radius surrounding black holes known as the event horizon. Once something passes the event horizon, it can no longer escape a black hole, as gravity becomes stronger as it approaches its center.
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking predicted that while nothing can escape from within them, black holes spontaneously emit a limited amount of light, which is known as Hawking radiation. According to his predictions, this radiation is spontaneous (i.e., it arises from nothing) and stationary (i.e., its intensity does not change much over time).
Researchers at Technion- Israel Institute of Technology have recently carried out a study aimed at testing Hawking's theoretical predictions. More specifically, they examined whether the equivalent of Hawking radiation in an "artificial black hole" created in a laboratory setting was stationary.
"If you go inside the event horizon, there's no way to get out, even for light," Jeff Steinhauer, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Phys.org. "Hawking radiation starts just outside the event horizon, where light can barely escape. That is really weird because there's nothing there; it's empty space. Yet this radiation starts from nothing, comes out, and goes towards Earth."
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