Originally Posted by CerkMX
How did they determine a winner in that bet??...wormholes in blackholes is an untestable theory...blackholes are what happens when massive stars collapse on themselves and the mass of an object 1000's of times larger than our sun is condensed small enough to fit on a tablespoon...can't duplicate that??
DISCLAIMER: Former astronomy nerd here
The whole thing was explained in a book on Hawking published by Bantam(Stephen Hawking: Quest for a Theory of Everything)
Here's a brief on the bet
Losing an old bet
Hawking was in the news in July 2004 for presenting a new theory about black holes which goes against his own long-held belief about their behaviour, thus losing a bet he and Kip Thorne made with John Preskill, a particle physicist. Classically, it can be shown that information crossing the event horizon of a black hole is lost to our universe. This is known as the no hair theorem. The problem with the no hair theorem is that it implies the black hole will emit the same radiation regardless of what goes into the black hole. So if a pure quantum state is thrown into a black hole, a mixed state will be returned. This runs counter to the rules of quantum mechanics and is known as the black hole information paradox.
Hawking had earlier speculated that the singularity at the center of a black hole could form a bridge to a "baby universe" into which the lost information could pass; such theories have been very popular in science fiction. But according to Hawking's new idea, presented at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation, on 21 July, 2004 in Dublin, Ireland, black holes eventually transmit, in a garbled form, information about all matter they swallow.
The Euclidean path integral over all topologically trivial metrics can be done by time slicing and so is unitary when analytically continued to the Lorentzian. On the other hand, the path integral over all topologically non-trivial metrics is asymptotically independent of the initial state. Thus the total path integral is unitary and information is not lost in the formation and evaporation of black holes. The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon.
--GR Conference website (http://www.dcu.ie/~nolanb/gr17.htm
) summary of Hawking's talk.
Having concluded that information is conserved, Hawking conceded his bet in Preskill's favor, awarding him Total Baseball, The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia, an encyclopędia from which information is easily retrieved. However, Thorne remains unconvinced of Hawking's proof and declined to contribute to the award.
Hawking did write, and sign, a letter conceding the bet and a subscription to Playboy magazine. The letter is displayed in the book.