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Stephen Hawking's black holes U-turn: Bob McDonald

Contrary to what he theorized decades ago, Stephen Hawking now believes black holes are not the final graveyard for matter that gets sucked in by the gravitational pull caused by a "collapsing" star, explains CBC science correspondent Bob McDonald.

CBC's science correspondent uses computer animation to explain Hawking's new view

CBC science correspondent Bob McDonald on theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking's admission that his 40-year-old theory about black holes is probably wrong 2:32

The famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, one of the founders of modern theories about black holes, declared in a new paper last week that he may have been wrong when he first proposed his ideas 40 years ago.

Contrary to what he theorized decades ago, Hawking now believes black holes are not the final graveyard for matter that gets sucked in by the gravitational pull caused by a "collapsing" star, explains CBC science correspondent Bob McDonald.

"He's not saying [black holes] don't exist, he's just kind of modifying his idea of how they work," McDonald says, noting that Hawking now believes there may be "an escape route" for matter.

Watch player above for McDonald's explanation of the latest bombshell to shake up the physics community.

A brief explanation of black holes:

What is a black hole?

According to NASA, black holes can form when a star is dying. Some stars, which can be up to 20 times more than the mass of our sun, emerge when a large star "collapses" or falls in on itself. This creates a strong gravitational pull that draws in everything, including, light. The term "black hole" was coined by physicist John Wheeler, who died in 2008.

What is an event horizon?

An event horizon is the invisible surface at which point nothing can escape being drawn into a black hole. Hawking previously stated that nothing could escape this black hole, but he has since revised that theory.