September 19, 2015


APPARENT HORIZON: Your Gateway to a Better Universe is the full title of my new column and it was inspired by a somewhat rarefied area of scientific inquiry. Current hypotheses in theoretical physics — notably one recently propounded by Stephen Hawking — discuss the region surrounding a black hole as an “apparent horizon.” Unlike the older model of black holes, Hawking et al propose that they do not contain infinitely dense singularities and that there are no sharp event horizons separating them from the rest of the universe. Matter (plus energy) is captured by the superdense gravity of a black hole, but its constituent information doesn’t make it inside. It stays in the apparent horizon in chaotic form. Where it remains until Hawking radiation, produced as the black hole slowly evaporates, carries it back to normal spacetime. Or possibly to another universe, since Hawking suggests that apparent horizons may be gateways to alternate universes. So this column functions as an apparent horizon for discussions of Boston politics, visual art and other topics of interest. Information gets chopped up, reordered and may transport the reader to another, hopefully better, universe of possibilities. Enjoy.

Apparent Horizon is the first column syndicated by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. Jason Pramas is BINJ network director.

Copyright 2015 Jason Pramas. Licensed for use by the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and media outlets in its network.