Ever since Stephen Hawking came out with his theory about how black holes work, physicists – including Hawking himself – have been wrestling with a "hole" in that theory.
Hawking postulated that if you threw something like a chair into a black hole, given enough time that chair would "dematerialize." It would disappear, leaving no trace of its existence.
But the laws of physics don't allow for things to simply disappear. Things can change, or be altered, but they can't disappear. You can burn a piece of paper, and it's no longer there, but the carbon, water, and other molecules still exist somewhere. Again, it can't simply disappear.
As Leonard Susskind wrote in “The Black Hole War,” his 2008 book on the problem of black holes and information loss, “The possibility of hiding information in a vault would hardly be a cause for alarm, but what if when the door was shut, the vault evaporated right in front of your eyes? That’s exactly what Hawking predicted would happen to the black hole.”
Now comes a theoretical physicist and computational biologist from Michigan State University who believes he has solved Hawking's black hole information paradox.
Chris Adami joined us today on Stateside. (You can listen to how he explains his theory above.)
Hawking discovered that black holes emit a glow called the “Hawking radiation.” That radiation, Hawking theorized, consumes the black hole and all things in the hole are lost. Poof! Nothing left.
Adami theorizes that a copy of the chair is made before it goes into the black hole.
The Traverse Bay Blues have been the high school state champions for the past four years. The girls rugby team hopes to defend its title when the season kicks off this Saturday, April 5, despite the fact that two-thirds of this year’s team has never played the sport before.
The gym at Traverse City High School is full of rugby players getting ready to head outside for practice. Members of the club team are tying their cleats and putting on thermals and jackets. Head coach Stephanie Kehrer is taking them outside for their first tackling practice.
Michigan State University could risk losing half-a-million dollars if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.
A state Senate panel approved a measure Thursday banning courses at public universities that promote or discourage organizing efforts. It’s a reaction to MSU’s recent decision to take over some programs from the National Labor College.
Republicans say those courses violate the proposed rule.
We recently had a discussion on Stateside that explored the question: Why are there not more women in the STEM and Computer Science programs?
After that program, we got an eye-catching email from University of Michigan student Carrie Johnson. She's in the Chemical Biology Ph.D. program, and she is a part of a student-led group called FEMMES, which stands for Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science.
When we heard how these students are reaching out to encourage and inspire other women, including holding free Saturday and after-school programs for girls in 4th through 6th grade, we knew we wanted to share their story with you.
Carrie Johnson and Abigail Garrity, a Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience Program at Michigan and co-president of FEMMES, joined us today.
You don't have to hunt too far to find critics of our schools, of the way our children are learning, what they're learning and the achievement gap within our classrooms.
There are countless ways, countless statistics that try to measure the problems. Here's just one, centered on the achievement gap. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, on 2007 standardized math exams, white fourth-graders performed better than black fourth-graders in all 46 states where results are available.
And we hear a steady drumbeat of criticism that students here in the U.S. are lagging behind their peers in other countries. When you look at standardized tests, American students rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math, which puts them behind students in Poland and Slovenia.
How much pressure should we put on individual teachers to fix these problems?
Natalie Davis, Alistair Bomphray, and Martha Curren-Preis are teachers who are all earning their Ph.D.s in education at the University of Michigan. They joined us today to discuss the issue.