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If hawking radiation is the result of a pair of virtual particles popping into existence just outside the event horizon, and then one falling into the black hole through the event horizon, and the other escaping, how can this process reduce the mass of the Black Hole?

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  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this question on Hawking Radiation will first help you to understand a bit more about it as a first step. The popular view of it can be misleading as you can see. $\endgroup$
    – Triatticus
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Strong electromagnetic fields and gravitational fields (in the case of black hole) can give rise to pair production of particles. If particles are able to annihilate,- they return energy to the field. But black hole, often catches 1 of particle , while second escapes. So this process drains BH gravitational energy faster, compared to emitting "raw" gravitational waves without disturbance. Hence by loosing gravitational energy, BH looses mass altogether due to $E=mc^2$. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ Btw, usually blackhole sucks-in more matter from regions around event horizon than it looses energy due to Hawking radiation. So, no worries. Black holes will live until almost all universe becomes empty. Or some blackhole may die, if in some collision event it is thrown into deep outerspace where there is no matter to attract into BH. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ read this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawking_radiation#Black_hole_evaporation . only for small mass black holes the radiation can reduce the mass $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ If nothing ever falls through the horizon, how do they grow? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 20:45

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