Scientists Are Blasting Black Holes With Lasers

Photo: Getty Images

An Israeli scientist has identified a way of detecting black hole radiation, which is very difficult to detect, by using a laser.

The scientist found that the radiation could effectively be bounced between an inescapable black hole and fully-reflective white hole, thus amplifying its signal to detectable levels.

The evidence for Hawking radiation — radiation released by black holes due to quantum effects — from a black-hole laser is reported by Jeff Steinhauer of the Israel Institute of Technology in the journal Nature Physics.

As the elongated atomic cloud enters the light field, the black hole laser oscillation occurs. Image: Jeff Steinhauer

This is the first observation of self-amplifying Hawking radiation, providing an system for probing astrophysical black holes in the lab.

In 1974, Stephen Hawking showed that due to quantum effects black holes are not completely black but actually emit a type of radiation, now known as Hawking radiation.

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