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.
This page was last updated June 27, 2015.