His work attempts to address the ‘black-hole firewall paradox’ first discovered by theoretical physicist Joseph Polchinski and his colleagues almost two years ago, when Polchinski and his team began investigating what would happen to an astronaut who fell into a black hole.

They hypothesised that instead of being gradually ripped apart by gravitational forces, the event horizon would be transformed into a ‘highly energetic region’, and anyone who fell in would hit a wall of fire and burn to death in an instant – violating Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.

In his paper, Hawking writes: “The absence of event horizons means that there are no black holes – in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity.”

He told Nature journal: “There is no escape from a black hole in classical theory, but quantum theory, however, “enables energy and information to escape from a black hole.”