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Israeli Physicists Create Black Hole in Lab to Prove Stephen Hawking Was Right about Them


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That is a click-bait headline, Vic. The fact is, nobody has ever created a “real” Black Hole in any lab, or anywhere else. What Jeff Steinhauer and company has done is created an analogue of a BH, using an atomic Bose–Einstein condensate. The results are consistent with a driven oscillation experiment and a numerical simulation. The original paper on this was published in 2016. It seems they periodically refine and improve the experiment, but it is still just an analogue, not a real BH. Instead of looking at actual Hawking radiation, which consists of photons, the analogue is actually working with acoustic Hawking radiation; that is, they are working with sound waves. In other words, sound plays the role of light, and the local flow velocity and speed of sound determine the metric of the analogue spacetime.

Personally, I am not convinced that such an analogue “proves” anything about real Hawking radiation emanating from a real BH, but I suppose it is as close as anyone can come to simulating the real thing.

Some physicists are convinced that this experiment answers some questions about real Hawking radiation, while others, like myself, are skeptical about the value of such an analogue.

If anyone is interested in delving into this deeper, Steinhauer’s paper can be found here, but be fore-warned that the mathematical explanation is a little daunting.

Edited by OceanBreeze
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