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NEW DELHI: An Indian theoretical physicist who questioned the existence of black holes and thereby challenged Stephen Hawking of Britain at last feels vindicated. But he is sad.
Abhas Mitra, at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, was perhaps the first and the only scientist who had the guts to openly challenge Hawking of Cambridge University who is regarded by many as the modern-day Einstein.
For over 30 years Hawking and his followers were perpetuating the theory that black holes -- resulting from gravitational collapse of massive stars -- destroy everything that falls into them preventing even light or information to escape.
Mitra, four years ago, in a controversial paper in the reputed journal, "Foundations of Physics Letters," showed that Hawking's theory was flawed. He proved black holes couldn't exist because their formation and existence flouted Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Except a handful, the majority of mainstream scientists dismissed Mitra's conclusions even though, till now, no scientist has contradicted him in writing. Mitra invited several notable black hole theorists including Hawking and Jayant Narlikar of India to criticise his work but no one replied.
Naturally, Mitra now feels vindicated following Hawking's own admission two weeks ago at a conference in Dublin, Ireland, that there isn't a black hole "in the absolute sense."
In essence, Hawking's "new" black holes never quite become the kind that gobble up everything. Instead, they keep emitting radiation for a long time -- exactly what Mitra showed in his paper.
Hawking's about-turn has vindicated Mitra. But, in retrospect, he feels sad about the treatment he got at home while trying to take on Hawking all by himself.
Visit the original news source here for the whole article: timesofindia.indiatimes.com...