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Hawking: I lost bet on black holes.

Byline: PETER GRIFFITHS

COSMOLOGIST Stephen Hawking yesterday lost one of the most famous bets in scientific history after he rejected the 1975 black hole theory that helped make his name.

The author of A Brief History of Time conceded US physicist John Preskill was right to doubt his theory and gave him a sports book as a prize.

"I am now ready to concede the bet," said Hawking, 62. "I offered him an encyclopaedia of cricket, but John wouldn't be persuaded of its superiority."

He accepted the bet in 1997 when Preskill refused to accept black holes destroy everything they suck up.

Hawking told a conference in Dublin yesterday that he now believes some material oozes out of them over billions of years through tiny irregularities in their surface.

"I always hoped that when Stephen conceded there would be a witness, this really exceeds my expectations," Preskill said, pointing at the banks of TV cameras in the auditorium.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2004
Words:162
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