Black Holes are a mathematical enigma of our times. Imagine a mass so overwhelming, so strongly over-powering that not even light can escape through it. Now imagine, what would you find if you pass through it

to end up on the other side? But wait a minute! Can anything pass through the black hole? If it doesn’t pass through it, what happens to it inside the black hole? Do the Black Holes forever stay as they are since they emit no information? Can their information be salvaged when they die? These questions serve as the basis of the Black Hole Paradox or the Black Hole Information Paradox.

Until recently, it was thought that nothing can escape the black hole because the gravity is so strong that it does not allow any information to escape the black hole. For this reason, black holes are engulfed in mystery, so much so that specialized equipment can sense a black hole but never see it.

In 1970, Stephen Hawking shared the theory about the existence of “virtual particles” that appear and disappear. In other words, they form and annihilate when in contact with each other. However, when these particles appear around the boundary (also called the event horizon) of the black hole, one of them is sucked in while the other escapes into space. The one that escapes takes energy from the black hole, thus reducing its mass. This phenomenon continues over time, making the black hole evaporate out of existence. According to Stephen Hawking, the “virtual particle” that took the energy is so minute that it contains no information about the black hole. The result is that the information about black holes dies as they vanish out of existence. But, this goes against the principles of Quantum Mechanics which says information is never lost. This is called the Black Hole Information Paradox.

In one of the conferences in 2015, Stephen Hawking proposed a different approach on Black Holes. He,  along with his two colleagues presented that the black holes are not as black as they have been deemed. Whenever a charged particle is sucked into black holes, it imprints its image or memory onto the horizon of the black hole hence making a blueprint. So, when a virtual particle carries off a piece (energy) from the black hole into Space, it carries the information and “maybe” leaves it somewhere in the universe. However, Hawking and his colleagues proposed that the information is in such a disarray that it cannot be re-interpreted. Hawking maintains that this solves the Information Paradox – that information is never lost, however, you cannot make sense of it to understand what was in the black hole.

The paper with the above information has been published online and is currently undergoing peer review. Even though scientists maintain that the calculations in this paper have no reason to be incorrect, the theory seems to be incomplete. It is expected that several paths will open up in the future to study this theory or whether the “proposed information” actually exists. And, if it exists, can it be salvaged?