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Hawking vs. Mitra : Are black holes really black holes?

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posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 01:19 AM
Four years ago, an indian physicist named Abhas Mitra tried to show that Stephen Hawking was wrong about the theory of black holes. He was ignored largely by other physicists claiming that no point was made there and his knowledge of general theory of relativity was also questioned. However, now when Hawking himself has changed his view on black holes, Mitra feels sad for the ill-treatment he got earlier for challenging Hawking.

Here is the news article:

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:

By doing some search I was able to find some of the original papers written by Abhas Mitra.
(Note: These are pdf files and after downloading the files, you might have to provide an extension(.pdf) to the files to view them, if they don't open)

Why the astrophysical Black Hole Candidates may not be black holes at all

Why General Theory of Relativity Allows the Existence of Only Extremal Black Holes

Non-occurrence of trapped surfaces and Black Holes in spherical gravitational collapse: An abridged version
note: I think this is the article that was written four years ago that the news article above is talking about

On the question of trapped surfaces and black holes

There are a few more articles written by Abhas Mitra that can be found here:

Any comments on the issue? I know this is not really new news as the above news article is dated august 3. However, I would love to hear some opinions on it and the papers written by Mitra.
Thanks in advance.

(Sorry if this topic was posted earlier, I tried searching but I did not find any such topic)

Edit: Added a few more papers of Mitra.

[edit on 3-9-2004 by John bull 1]

[edit on 3-9-2004 by jp1111]

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 02:32 AM
I stumbled across a new site called Ignorance . A guy over there who ironically has the same log name and avatar as mine pointed out that science (physics) are constantly updated and theories "tweaked" as new observations are made . *

What we now call physics has been expanded upon for centuries , and there is a need to keep an open mind to new ideas .

There are many examples of scientist who have shared new ideas and hypothesies only to be scoffed that later are proven to be correct .

I think this guy is very humble in his response to this , he didn't go the "I told you so " route . Hopefully he will get some aknowledgement , or some sort of oppologie from his piers .

Everything gets an update from time to time , and no one has had ALL the correct answers so far , even geniuses like Hawkings and Einstein .

* pardon the shameless plug , check out the new sister site . Off to a great start .........

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 02:34 PM
Hopefully Mitra will get some recognition for his work. After all, he made a point and it turned out to be correct.
I was surprised to find that even his own research institution (BARC) sided Hawking and took a very extreme step of firing him after they found that many highly respected scientists including Hawking had ignored his work. I hope that after learning its mistake, BARC would apologize and take him back.

I think the scientific community should learn a lesson from this incidence. They should start to evaluate works of a broad variety of people from different corners of the world and not just ignore them in order to regard the works of some highly respected scientists. The latter are humans too and they are bound to make mistakes.

I think such political games exist largely in many fields of sciences, which is supressing many great thoughts to come out as facts in front of the society. It's when some of these great minds take risks and present their views by not caring about the criticism, we learn about the truth.

"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."
-Albert Einstein


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