View Full Version : Chicago Tribune: One Way In, One Way Out

July 31st, 2004, 11:00 PM
Stargate SG-1 is referenced in this article.

From the Chicago Tribune:


One way in, one way out

Published July 31, 2004

Stephen Hawking is brilliant, but that doesn't mean he's always right. The world famous astrophysicist was the first to admit that humbling fact to those who attended an international conference on gravitation last week in Dublin.

For 30 years Hawking had insisted that anything that fell into black holes, those dark celestial vortexes formed from collapsed stars, disappeared in them. Only generic and random radiation was emitted. Black holes, he said, just possibly might provide entry into a parallel universe.

That intriguing concept of a portal to another universe has thrilled science fiction aficionados for years. But now it turns out the only doorway to another universe may be on the cable television series "Stargate SG-1." Hawking now says there is only one way in and one way out of a black hole. Whatever falls into one will eventually be spit back out "in a mangled form" the same way it went in.

"There is no baby universe branching off inside a black hole, as I once thought. The information remains firmly in our universe," Hawking told scientists attending the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation. "I'm sorry to disappoint science fiction fans but ... there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes."

There is a bright side to Hawking's latest findings. If information about objects is retained in black holes, then later ejected, that information--even in mangled form--can help scientists understand what all has fallen into black holes in the first place.

To acknowledge that he has now seen the light on black holes, Hawking settled a 7-year-old bet with another astrophysicist, John Preskill of the California Institute of Technology, who had insisted that matter consumed by black holes couldn't be destroyed. Hawking presented him with the sports book "Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia."

It's a bummer that Hawking now believes there's no parallel universe, or if there is one, earthlings still don't know how to access it. Cubs fans might have harbored hope the St. Louis Cardinals would be dispatched to a parallel Central Division. At least there's lingering hope the Redbirds will fall into a black hole and be spit out in mangled form.

Copyright 2004, Chicago Tribune




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