Hawking radiation diagram, c. 1974
Hawking explained black hole radiation by showing that quantum effects cause pairs of particles to fleetingly form just outside the hole. One falls in, slightly reducing the energy of the black hole, and the other escapes. As the effect is very small, astronomers have not yet detected these escaping particles, but ‘Hawking radiation’ is widely thought to exist.
Source: The Hawking Family Archive
- Currently on display in:
- Stephen Hawking: A 70th birthday celebration