June 11, 2010

HOW TO DESTROY A BLACK HOLE: “The puzzle is what such destruction would leave behind.” I’m not sure I want to find out, but didn’t Steven Hawking have a paper on this back in the 1970s? As I recall (and this story seems to repeat), you get a naked singularity, with all kinds of problems for physics and causality, but I haven’t followed that stuff at all closely since college. I do remember, though, that Hawking referred to the breakdown of physics, and then struck it out to read “physicists” in the vicinity of rapidly rotating supermassive black holes. That seems to be what this story is talking about, too. So is this really news now?

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