Just like any other object in the universe, even the mighty and scary black holes have to obey some rules in order to exist. In 1971, the famous genius and scientist Stephen Hawking argued that the black holes’ areas should never shrink, understanding an area as the point from which nothing can escape.
This theorem, referred to as Hawking’s area theorem was not validated since then, that is until recently.
Gravitational waves come to the rescue
Thanks to physicists from MIT, such as Maximiliano Isi, and others from other renowned universities: Will Farr of Stony Brook University, Matthew Giesler from Cornell University, Mark Scheel from Caltech and Saul Teukolsky from Cornell University and Caltech; Howking’s are theorem has been confirmed using gravitational waves.
More of the findings were published yesterday in Physical Review Letters. By observing the first gravitational wave (GW150914) ever to be detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational — wave Observatory (LIGO), physicists concluded that the signal came from two binary black holes that have merged into one and then have created gravitational waves across space due to its massive amount of energy.
Hawking’s Black Hole theorem
According to Stephen Hawking’s theorem, the horizon area of the newly created black hole has to be smaller than the combined areas of the two binary black holes that created the new one. Physicists decided to reanalyze the signals of the GW150914, including the ones before the cosmic collision.
The findings suggested that the horizon area of the new black hole did not get smaller.
The impact of the new findings
Hawking’s theorem was proven mathematically, but not observationally and this implies that there are many more studies and research to further carry out.
Those conducting the study have stated that there might be other types of objects in space and it is not mandatory that they also follow Hawking’s area theorem.