Bravo again Richard
Yet again you have produced an exemplary piece of science reporting.
The evaporation of black holes could provide a way to what’s known as the “loop quantum gravity” theory. Loop gravity is one of the many theories proposed as a way to unite general relativity with quantum mechanics, but it’s not easy to test; as Aurélien Barrau of the French National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics …
"particles and antiparticles, the antiparticle falling into the black hole and causing it to lose mass"
Actually, either of the particle and antiparticle call "fall in", so the black hole would be seen to emit particles and antiparticles in equal amounts (except if there were some mechanism that would be biased to one side or the other, who knows).
With out re-aquainting myself with the theory ,since its widely quoted as a mechanism for black hole evaporation, then by definition more anti-particles should fall in than particles. Otherwise the BH mass would stay constant.
So Im assuming that Hawking also theorised the mechanism you mention.
in which Professor Barrau (who, by the way, sports a nice ponytail, like our Minister of Finance here in Sweden) «adds that there may even be signatures observable in the universe’s microwave background radiation». That would really be fantastic - more or less on a par with the observation of the Higgs bosun expected/hoped to come from CERN during the coming year....
It there no attractive force between matter and antimatter ?
Maybe it is just me but I'd have expected more antimatter particles to drop across the event horizon of a black hole made from matter, whilst their associated matter particles have a better chance of drifting away.
And once in the black hole the antimatter particle can annihilate whatever matter particle it first finds there, shrinking the black hole.
The decay mechanism is not that the anti-particle falls into the hole and annihilates something inside. The energy of the annihilation would stay in the hole (duh) and the overall mass/energy of the hole increase.
The (proposed) mechanism is that virtual particle/anti-particle pairs are formed by vacuum energy fluctuations, and close to a black hole one of the virtual particles can be whisked off into the black hole before they both disappear back into "nothingness". Because of preservation of charge, spin etc the other particle then has to become real, and the energy "debt" of the creation of this particle passes to the black hole, reducing its overall mass/energy. As its random which of the two fall in the overall charge of the black hole will stay constant +- minute fluctuations .
Or at least, this is the standard english language explanation given, the actual theory uses mathematical tranforms of the vacuum in the presence of a black hole AFAIK to get the result "energy comes out of black holes" and particle/anti-particle quantization of the vacuum is in there somewhere.
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