Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Black Hole Radiation
Name: N/A
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1991 

I hope this seems timely . Can anyone explain, in relatively simple terms, the reasons for Hawking's belief in jumbled radiation emanating from black holes?

Virtual particle-antiparticle pairs are being created all the time. usually they disappear almost instantaneously, but if a virtual pair is created just inside the event horizon of a black hole, then Hawking showed that one of them could escape and become real instead of virtual. the black hole thereby loses mass. but this process (Hawking radiation) is only significant for very small black holes.

John Hawley

Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory