Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking pbaded away last year, but his innovative work is still alive. A team of scientists from Israel believes that it has confirmed one of the most famous predictions of the latest scientists. Using quantum superfluid, researchers may have found evidence that so-called "Hawking radiation" is a real phenomenon of black holes. The effects of this work could change the way we understand the universe and the fate of the stars.
Decades ago, Hawking's groundbreaking theoretical work on black holes establishes numerous predictions. In the intervening years, many of them have proven to be accurate. Hawking radiation is one of the most interesting and amazing hypotheses of its black hole, but so far it has been very difficult to prove.
According to Hawking, the strange realities of the universe at the quantum level mean that black holes do not last forever. They "bleed" energy for eons and eventually evaporate. Hawking observed that, from a quantum perspective, the vacuum of space is not truly empty. The pairs of virtual particles must appear in space for an infinitesimal time before re-combining and annihilating. A black hole, however, could interrupt that process.
A black hole has a gravity so intense that even light can not escape from the event horizon. Therefore, those virtual particles could also be dragged. Therefore, it is conceivable that on rare occasions, one particle of one pair will be dragged into the black hole, but the other will escape. In that case, the black hole would experience a net loss of mbad in the form of this Hawking radiation.
Because the "signal" of the Hawking radiation is very small, we lack the technology to measure it around a real black hole. The Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) team turned to a black hole badog, which is a very new concept that was first demonstrated in 2009. Instead of attracting light with intense gravity, the badogue is a condensate of Bose-Einstein (BEC) ultra-cold rubidium atoms that move faster than the speed of sound. Therefore, it creates an "event horizon" for the sound.
In the experiment, the team used pairs of complementary sound waves to represent the virtual particles. One of the waves moved beyond the horizon of sound events, and the other moved away. The team was able to measure the radiation of the system, confirming that its temperature was determined only by the speed of sound and its flow. It emitted a continuous spectrum of wavelengths, which coincides with Hawking's theories on the behavior of the black hole.
This is the second Technion experiment that demonstrates Hawking radiation in this way. The new experiment presents much more sensitive instruments, which adds more support to the theory. The next step is to repeat the experiment to track the changes in the BEC over time. One day, we can even apply the lessons learned to study real black holes.