Black Holes and Hawking Radiation

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Hawking radiation: A particle-antiparticle pair can be created spontaneously near a black hole. If one member of the pair falls into the event horizon, its partner can escape, carrying away energy, called Hawking radiation, from the black hole. This radiation is named after English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who first hypothesized that this could be an important way that black holes evaporate.

A noted cosmologist, Hawking is working on the basic laws that govern the universe. This creative visionary was born in January 1942, and now studies a variety of issues related to the Big Bang and black holes. His seminal work, A Brief History of Time (1988), was a popular best-seller. Despite his disability because of an incurable disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the wheelchair-bound Hawking continues active research into theoretical physics, mixed with a fast-paced agenda of travel and public lectures. Communicating via computer system and a speech synthesizer, Hawking is still active in his quest to decipher the nature of space and time.