from the look-what-i-can-do dept.
eldavojohn writes "In 1974, a young newcomer to the Royal Society named Stephen Hawking predicted that black holes emit Hawking Radiation. Researchers have been looking for it in space ever since. A new paper up for publication claims to have beaten searchers by observing it in a lab. Doing it wasn't easy. They say they brought light to a standstill by drastically increasing the refractive index of the material it was being fired at, creating a 'white hole.' This horizon, beyond which light cannot penetrate (event horizon), is the same between white and black holes, which caused the team to suspect they observed Hawking Radiation when light of a different uniform wavelength than the input laser was emitted. But, before you rejoice, the Tech Review article notes, 'Of course, the big question is whether the emitted light is generated by some other mechanism such as Cerenkov radiation, scattering or, in particular, fluorescence which is the hardest to rule out.'"
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)