Do black holes die? If so how?
Do black holes have a definite life? Everything appears to live and die. Do black holes also die? If so, what can be its cause?
Yes, even a black hole has a finite life. This discovery came about when Stephen Hawking discovered that black holes should radiate energy due to quantum mechanical processes. This radiation is called Hawking radiation. As a black hole radiates energy, it shrinks and the more it shrinks, the more it radiates (this is the nature of the radiative process) and so finally it will completely evaporate. However, the timescale for this is extremely long: a black hole of the mass of the Sun will take more than a billion times a billion times a billion times a billion times a billion times a billion times the age of the universe to evaporate completely! So it is not a process which has any significant effect for the black holes we find in astrophysical situations.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 104543 times since August 23, 2002.
Last modified: February 3, 2003 2:44:33 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)