Black holes, those gravitational beasts that are so named because light cannot escape their clutches, are by far the most mysterious things in the universe.
But a new theory suggests that black holes may not be black at all. According to a new study, these black holes may alternatively be dark stars that are home to strange physics at their core. This mysterious new physics could cause these dark stars to emit a strange kind of radiation. This radiation, in turn, could explain all the mystery Dark matter In the universe, which pulls everything out but does not emit light.
Thanks to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, Which describes how matter distorts space-time, we know that some massive stars can collapse in on themselves to the point that they continue to collapse, shrinking to a very small point – the singularity.
Once the singularity has formed, it surrounds itself with the event horizon. It is the only one-way street in the universe. At the event horizon, the gravitational force of a black hole is so strong that to leave, you have to travel faster than light. Because traveling at speeds greater than the speed of light is strictly prohibited, anything that crosses the threshold is bound to fail forever.
Hence, there is a black hole.
These surprisingly simple statements withstood decades of remarks. Astronomers have observed how the atmosphere of a star is absorbed into a black hole. They have seen stars orbiting black holes. Physicists on Earth heard the gravitational waves emitted by the collision of black holes. We even captured a photo of the black hole’s “shadow” – the hole it bore out of the glow of surrounding gas.
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Mysteries remain at the core of black hole science, however. The property that defines a black hole – the singularity – appears to be physically impossible, because matter cannot actually collapse to a very small point.
This means that the current understanding of black holes will eventually need to be updated or replaced by something else that can explain what the center of a black hole is.
But that doesn’t stop physicists from trying.
One theory about the singularities of a black hole replaces those tiny points of infinitely compressed matter with something more palatable: an incredibly small point of pressure. Thing. This is called a Planck nucleus, because the idea states that the matter inside a black hole is compressed all the way down to the smallest possible scale, which is the Planck length, which is 1.6 * 10 ^ minus 35 meters.
This is … small.
With a Planck nucleus, which would not be singular, a black hole would not host an event horizon – there would be no place where gravity would exceed the speed of light. But to outside observers, the gravity would be so strong that it looked like an event horizon. Only very sensitive observations, for which we don’t have the technology yet, will be able to tell the difference.
Root problems require radical solutions, so replacing “singularity” with “Planck’s nucleus” is not far-fetched, though the theory is hardly more than just a faint drawing of an outline, one without physics or Maths To describe this type of environment with confidence. In other words, Planck’s nuclei are the physical equivalent of spit ideas.
This is a handy thing, because singularities need serious thinking outside the box. And there may be some additional side effects. Like, for example, explaining the mystery of dark matter.
Dark matter makes up 85% of the mass of the universe, yet it never interacts with light. We can only determine its existence by the effects of gravity on ordinary luminous matter. For example, we can watch stars orbiting the centers of galaxies, and use their orbital velocities to calculate the total amount of mass in those galaxies.
In a new paper, it was submitted February 15 to the prepress database arXivPhysicist Igor Nikitin of the Fraunhofer Institute for Scientific Algorithms and Computing in Germany took the idea of ”radical singularity” and pushed it forward. According to the paper, Planck nuclei may emit particles (since there is no event horizon, these black holes are not completely black). It could be a familiar particle or something new.
Perhaps it is some form of particle that could explain dark matter. Nikitin wrote that if black holes were indeed Planck stars, and they were constantly emitting a stream of dark matter, they could explain the movement of stars within galaxies.
His idea probably won’t hold up for further scrutiny (there is much more evidence of dark matter than just affecting the motion of stars). But it’s a great example of how we need to come up with as many ideas as possible to explain black holes, because we never know what connections there might be with other unresolved mysteries in the universe.
Originally published on Live Science.