Can a black hole come back to the visual universe through a "little bang"? (Intermediate)

I wonder if a black hole can come back to our visual universe in a kind of "little bang"?

Actually, black holes are not strictly black. There are quantum mechanical processes through which a black hole emits radiation, called Hawking radiation after Stephen Hawking who first formulated them. So, a black hole loses mass continuously emitting Hawking radiation, and finally ends its life in a massive burst of radiation. The only thing to be kept in mind is that the timescale for this process is HUGE. For example, the time taken for a black hole of mass of the sun to evaporate is MUCH more than the age of the universe (which is around 12 billion years).

As to what happens inside the black hole, we do not know yet as the only theory that can explain it is a theory of quantum gravity and currently there is no theory for it. Hence, as per the current understanding, the black hole is "invisible" to the rest of the universe except for the Hawking radiation, which itself is a process which takes such a huge amount of time, that it can be ignored in most cases. Hence, black holes may not create a "little bang" analogous to the "big bang".

This page was last updated June 27, 2015.

About the Author

Jagadheep D. Pandian

Jagadheep D. Pandian

Jagadheep built a new receiver for the Arecibo radio telescope that works between 6 and 8 GHz. He studies 6.7 GHz methanol masers in our Galaxy. These masers occur at sites where massive stars are being born. He got his Ph.D from Cornell in January 2007 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Insitute for Radio Astronomy in Germany. After that, he worked at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii as the Submillimeter Postdoctoral Fellow. Jagadheep is currently at the Indian Institute of Space Scence and Technology.

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