Q:

What did Stephen Hawking invent or discover?

A:

Quick Answer

Stephen Hawking is most famous for his theory about black holes. The theory hypothesizes that black holes release matter in the form of radiation. He is also renowned for his book "A Brief History of Time."

Continue Reading
What did Stephen Hawking invent or discover?
Credit: Jean-Regis Rouston Roger Viollet Getty Images

Full Answer

Hawking became fascinated with black holes early in his career. At the core of black holes were thought to be event horizons from which no form of matter could escape once it was within their gravitational pull. Hawking posited, however, that matter could escape from black holes in the form of radiation. This type of radiation became known as Hawking Radiation.

Hawking once again shook the scientific world when he attempted to redefine black holes by putting forth the theory that event horizons do not exist. Instead, Hawking believes there is an apparent horizon that can grow or shrink in size. He posits that if it shrinks to a certain size that allows the gravitational pull to realign, it will disappear, releasing everything that has been trapped inside. The released objects, however, would be unrecognizable as the pull of the black hole would have severely warped them. Hawking's newest theory regarding black holes is a direct response to the problem of black hole firewalls, which are thought to be a point on the event horizon at which everything that passes through is incinerated.

Learn more about Inventions

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is Stephen Hawking's IQ?

    A:

    Stephen Hawking's IQ is not known for certain. Hawking has never been interested in how high his IQ is, but it has been estimated to be over 160. Hawking is well-known for his contributions to physics and gaining a better understanding of the universe.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What has Stephen Hawking said about aliens?

    A:

    Stephen Hawking believes aliens are real, and humans should tread carefully when first meeting them. Mathematically, he believes there is a challenge in figuring out what their characteristics may be. He also says that primitive life in space is common, but intelligent life is a rarity.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does Stephen Hawking believe in God?

    A:

    In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, Stephen Hawking was dismissive of the view that there is a God. He said he believed that the human brain is like a computer, which dies after its components fail. In Hawking's opinion, there is no afterlife to look forward to.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Stephen Hawking have children?

    A:

    Stephen Hawking suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS. Although he received his diagnosis at age 21, the severity of his symptoms progressed gradually over the course of decades. Before he lost most of his lower body function because of his illness, he was able to produce three children.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore