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  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

Episode #72 - Hunter-Scullion of Asteroid Mining Corporation and remembering Stephen Hawking

We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit.

Stephen Hawking

This week we talk to Mitch Hunter-Scullion of the Asteroid Mining Corporation, and Jamie is excited. We also discuss the late great Stephen Hawking and try to explain Hawking Radiation

Audio uploading soon

Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Born 8th January 1942 - exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo

Died 14th March 2018 on Albert Einstein's 139th birthday

There once was a man called Hawking.

Who had an unusual way of talking,

and with an Equation

found his unique radiation

and roamed the Cosmos without even walking

Hawking radiation.

Stephen Hawking published “Black Hole Explosions" in Nature in 1974 and a follow up in 1975

A Popular explanation of Hawking radiation.

  • Pairs of matter and antimatter virtual particles spontaneously appear due to the seething Quantum foam of empty space, borrowing their energy from the Vacuum and repaying it back when the collide and annihilate.

  • But say this happens on the event horizon, and one particle falls in and the other escapes, flying off back into space and leaving the Black hole with less energy than it had before

  • This is a bit of a fudge to help understand what is going on, and the picture has a few problems like what happens to the particle falling in and won’t that add to the mass of the black hole? They are virtual particles?

  • The Maths of Hawking in the paper for the the radiation, is roughly:

  • Single Spacetime path going at light speed going from the start to the infinite future of the universe

  • A black hole forms on this Path, juast as it passes

  • Hawking imagines the Quantum fields as they are distorted by this black hole

  • The fluctuation added to the vibration of the Quantum field, no longer look like virtual particles but real particles flowing towards the observer in the future.

  • To understand what was going on Hawking needed the Theory of Quantum Gravity. Unfortunately this still doesn’t exist (the theory of Everything)

  • So he fudged it. Using the Bogoliubov-Valatin transformation (developed for Nobel Prize winning Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory), When calculating quantum field theory in curved space-times, the definition of the vacuum changes and a Bogoliubov transformation between these different vacua is possible

  • The escaping particles have wavelengths about as large as the event horizon radius.

  • Hawking discovered something incredible that this radiation should look like a heat glow, ...that is proportional on the surface area of the event horizon of the black hole

  • Large Holes are cold, radiating very slowly

  • Tiny will appear very hot, and eventually explosive

  • We even talked about this as a possible energy source for an interstellar drive ...the Kugelblitz

There are other ways of getting to Hawking radiation, and papers have detailed this, things like Quantum Tunnelling for example. The common thread is good old Heisenberg Uncertainty

  • It looks like Black Holes really do emit particles, whatever method you use.

  • But without the holy grail of physics the Quantum Theory of Gravity we won’t know what truly causes the Hawking Radiation.


  • Information Paradox

  • Hawking radiation appears to violate the conservation of information, a cornerstone of Quantum Mechanics.

  • In 1981, Hawking proposed that information in a black hole is irretrievably lost when a black hole evaporates. This information paradox violates the fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics, and led to years of debate, including "the Black Hole War" with Leonard Susskind and Gerard 't Hooft

  • The debate led to the holographic principle, proposed by Gerard 't Hooft and refined by Susskind, which suggested that the information is in fact preserved, stored on the boundary of a system

Ultimately Hawking’s brilliance was to show that the dark demons of Black holes the most terrifying object in the universe will eventually be vanquished by time itself.

  • “Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up – there's a way out.”

INTERVIEW : Mitch Hunter-Scullion

The Asteroid Mining Corporation Limited was founded in March 2016 by Mitch Hunter-Scullion, who had just completed his dissertation entitled 'The Case for Asteroid Mining: Examining the economic and political benefits to be gained from mining in Space.'

Having spent months researching and poring over every resource he could find on the subject; he realised three things. Firstly, that any company that mines an asteroid is going to become immensely rich as asteroids are simply staggeringly valuable resources, with asteroid over a kilometre in diameter being valued in the trillions of pounds due to their relative abundance of Platinum group metals. Secondly, that if the human race ever truly wanted to leave Earth, 'the cradle of our civilisation' to explore, live and work in Space then Asteroid Mining was vital to sustaining any size of population as asteroidal materials are vital in the construction of the first large scale private space infrastructure. With ice recovered from the asteroids supplying the new population of space with its drinking water and oxygen. Thirdly, he realised that very few companies in the world had been set up with the intentions of mining an asteroid, with the two major players in the field both being American companies.

It was at this moment that he decided that Great Britain, as the country that had brought the world the first and second Industrial Revolutions, should play an equally important role in the third. That is the goal of the Asteroid Mining Corporation; we aim to advance the march of human progress and civilisation by bringing the world the Third Industrial Revolution: moving as many polluting industries into Space and out of Earth's fragile biosphere as possible so that the Earth can become the garden of the Solar System.


New Laws Unlock Exciting Space Era for UK

Trumps Space Force

On March 12, International Launch Services, which markets the Proton rockets outside Russia, announced an "intent to contract" from the UK-based company Effective Space to deliver a pair of Space Drone satellites on a Proton-M/Briz-M variant in 2020. The duo was apparently designed to hitchhike into space along with a yet-to-be-identified primary payload installed on a ring adapter above the Space Drone pair.

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