Stephen Hawking's Many Theories?

Can anyone give me a summary of Stephen Hawking's many theories/beliefs? Thank you so much!

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  • 9 years ago
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    To be honest, Stephen Hawking has almost no real theories attributed to him. In my opinion his name is much bigger than his work. His main contributions to physics came in the 70's. It was at this time that he worked on the mathematical framework of General Relativity in cosmology and how it fit in with certain cosmological models. In this work, with Roger Penrose, he advanced the notions and mathematics of singularities, a huge topic in black holes.

    He later proposed the notion of Hawking Radiation. This is the mechanism by which Black Holes lose mass and energy. Previously it was thought that there was no way for black holes to relinquish the energy and mass they absorbed. However, his work is entirely hypothetical. There is no current possible mechanism to test out his hypothesis and thus prove it. As far as we know, it could be wrong.

    That is really the extent of his contributions to science. After that time period, he concentrated most of his time and work writing books for the general public. He did attempt to propose more ideas, but almost all of them either turned out to be wrong, or he later recanted the ideas. One famous example was the argument he made stating that anything that came out of a black hole must be "new". In other words, it had no relation in any way to the stuff that went in. Hawking later conceded that he was wrong about that and lost a bet to another physicist.

    When you add it all up, he actually hasn't done nearly as much as people seem to think.

    EDIT @John W

    >The thing to add to permeative pedagogy answer is that Hawking radiation has been observed in event horizon analogs such as a sonic black hole, a refraction layer or cryogenically cooled liquid hydrogen.

    No it has not. You are false on that account. First off, Sonic Black Holes are merely analogs to gravitational black holes and any observation of "Hawking Radiation" from a sonic black hole would not prove it can happen in a gravitational black hole. At most it would suggest it might be possible, something we already think. Second, no one has found evidence of radiation of phonons from a sonic black hole anyway. Even setting up a sonic black hole is extremely difficult let alone studying it.

    >Hawking radiation has been observed.

    Again, false.

    >Also if Hawking radiation did not occur then the black holes created in colliders like CERN's LHC or even in our upper atmosphere by far more energetic cosmic rays would eventually result in the Earth being consumed by a black hole.

    Very tenuous argument here if you ask you. There isn't even any proof that these micro black holes exist, let alone that if they did, they would be able to swallow up the entire Earth eventually. The mechanics of a micro black hole (assuming it does exist) could be entirely different. Possibly they have their own mechanism for decaying that does not work for regular black holes. Just saying that because we exist proves that micro black holes exist and that they perform hawking radiation is very bad logic. I hope you are not a scientist for everyone's sake.

    >It's amazing how otherwise educated people would consider Hawking radiation untestable.

    As I've already stated, it is CURRENTLY untestable. We have no current mechanism or experiment for proving hawking radiation exists. This is a fact. I personally believe we will not soon see the technology or instance to actually measure it either. It's amazing how otherwise educated people would baselessly attack the claims of someone without fully reading it or doing even basic research.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I think that one of his theories was that black holes evaporate. I'm not a physicist, and this hasn't been proven either way, but I personally find that one to be a little unbelievable, as if an atom decays, the radiation would still be energy, with the same amount of gravity, and it would stay sucked in to the black hole. People know very little about black holes, and I probably should know a lot less than Stephen Hawking, but I think that he was wrong about that one. Hawking radiation.

    To elaborate, I think that maybe the black holes that are made in labs can evaporate, because they aren't super-massive black holes. Nothing escapes a super-massive black hole, or I wouldn't expect that anything could, and that's I think what hasn't been proven.

  • John W
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The thing to add to permeative pedagogy answer is that Hawking radiation has been observed in event horizon analogs such as a sonic black hole, a refraction layer or cryogenically cooled liquid hydrogen. Hawking radiation has been observed.

    Also if Hawking radiation did not occur then the black holes created in colliders like CERN's LHC or even in our upper atmosphere by far more energetic cosmic rays would eventually result in the Earth being consumed by a black hole. Our continued existence despite our atmosphere and cosmic rays is evidence that Hawking radiation exists.

    It's amazing how otherwise educated people would consider Hawking radiation untestable.

  • 9 years ago

    permeative pedagogy's answer will be very helpful for you.

    You'll also find it useful to understand what "theory" means, because I can tell from the way you write that you think that "theory" is the same as "guesswork", and it isn't. Read this: http://notjustatheory.com/

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  • 9 years ago

    Not many - he's surprisingly consistent. His work was mostly on the dynamics of black holes - or are you referring to the "Many Worlds" hypothesis?

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