Stephen Hawking may have unlocked one of science's biggest mysteries

Hawking presented his theory about Black Holes at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

By Colin Gorenstein

Published August 25, 2015 3:18PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Kimberly White)
(Reuters/Kimberly White)

Stephen Hawking may have just unlocked one of science's biggest mysteries involving black holes.

Appearing at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm Tuesday, the acclaimed physicist presented his theory before a packed house of scientists.

The general idea, which the Washington Post explains, is that when particles enter a black hole they "leave traces of their information on the event horizon." When the particles leave, they "carry some of that information back out." This phenomenon has been called "Hawking Radiation."

"I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but in its boundary, the event horizon," Hawking said. "The event horizon is the sort of shell around a black hole, past which all matter will be drawn into the dense object's powerful embrace."

He continued: "The information is stored in a super translation of the horizon that the ingoing particles [from the source star] cause. The information about ingoing particles is returned, but in a chaotic and useless form. For all practical purposes the info is lost."

Watch the clip courtesy of Washington Post below:

[h/t Washington Post]


Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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Stephen Hawking Video