Blak Hohl

" Uh Dahrk STahr Izn'T Uh Hohl Thuhss Izn'T Uh Blak HohL "

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No Black Holes Exist, Says Stephen Hawking—At Least Not Like We Think

Black holes do not have "event horizons" beyond which there is no return, according to renowned physicist.

4 Minute Read

By Charles Q. Choi, for National Geographic

PUBLISHED January 27, 2014

Black holes do not exist—at least, not as we know them, says renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, potentially provoking a rethink of one of space's most mysterious objects.
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A new study from Hawking also says that black holes may not possess "firewalls," destructive belts of radiation that some researchers have proposed would incinerate anything that passes through them but others scientists deem an impossibility.

(Editor's note: Watch for our feature "The Truth About Black Holes" in the March issue of National Geographic magazine, out February 15.)

The conventional view of black holes posits that their gravitational pull is so powerful that nothing can escape from them—not even light, which is why they're called black holes. The boundary past which there is supposedly no return is known as the event horizon.

In this conception, all information about anything that ventures past a black hole's event horizon is destroyed. On the other hand, quantum physics, the best description so far of how the universe behaves on a subatomic level, suggests that information cannot ever be destroyed, leading to a fundamental conflict in theory.

No Event Horizons

Now Hawking is suggesting a resolution to the paradox: Black holes do not possess event horizons after all, so they do not destroy information.

"The absence of event horizons means that there are no black holes, in the sense of regimes from which light can't escape," Hawking wrote in a paper he posted online on January 22. The paper was based on a talk he gave last August at a workshop at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California.

Instead, Hawking proposes that black holes possess "apparent horizons" that only temporarily entrap matter and energy that can eventually reemerge as radiation. This outgoing radiation possesses all the original information about what fell into the black hole, although in radically different form. Since the outgoing information is scrambled, Hawking writes, there's no practical way to reconstruct anything that fell in based on what comes out. The scrambling occurs because the apparent horizon is chaotic in nature, kind of like weather on Earth.

We can't reconstruct what an object that fell into a black hole was like based on information leaking from it, Hawking writes, just as "one can't predict the weather more than a few days in advance."

Firewalls Removed

Hawking's reasoning against event horizons also seems to eliminate so-called firewalls, which are searing zones of intense radiation that some scientists recently (and controversially) suggested may exist at or near event horizons.

To grasp the significance of this revision, it helps to know that Hawking revealed decades ago that black holes are not perfectly "black." Instead, they emit radiation just beyond their event horizons, the energy of their gravitational fields causing pairs of particles to pop into existence in the surrounding vacuum.

Over time, generating this so-called Hawking radiation makes black holes lose mass—or even completely evaporate.

According to this theory, the pairs of particles created around black holes should be entangled with each other. This means the behavior of each pair's particles is connected, regardless of distance. One member of each pair falls into the black hole while the other escapes.

But recent analyses suggest that each particle leaving a black hole must also be entangled with every outgoing particle that has already left. This runs head-on into a well-tested principle of quantum physics stating that entanglement is always "monogamous," meaning two particles, and only two, are paired from the time of their creation.

Since no particle can have two kinds of entanglement at the same time—one pairing it with another particle at the time of its origin, and one pairing it with all other particles that have left a black hole—one of those entanglements theoretically must get uncoupled, releasing vast amounts of energy and generating a firewall.

Firewalls obey quantum physics, solving the conundrum black holes pose regarding entanglement. But they pose another problem by contradicting Einstein's well-tested "equivalence principle," which implies that crossing a black hole's event horizon should be an unremarkable event. A hypothetical astronaut passing across an event horizon would not even be aware of the transit. If there were a firewall, however, the astronaut would be instantly incinerated. Since that violates Einstein's principle, Hawking and others have sought to prove that firewalls are impossible.

"It almost sounds like he is replacing the firewall with a chaos-wall," said Kavli Institute physicist Joe Polchinski, who did not participate in Hawking's work.

Open Questions

Although quantum physicist Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology felt Hawking's idea was a good way to avoid firewalls, he said it doesn't really address the problems that firewalls raise.

"I would caution against any belief that Hawking has come up with a dramatic new solution answering all questions regarding black holes," said theoretical physicist Sean Carroll at the California Institute of Technology, who did not participate in this study. "These problems are very far from being resolved."

Theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind at Stanford University in California, who also did not take part in Hawking's research, suggests there may be another solution to the conundrums that black holes pose. For instance, work by Susskind and his colleague Juan Maldacena hint that entanglement might be linked to wormholes: shortcuts that can in theory connect distant points in space and time. This line of thought might serve as the foundation for research that could solve the firewall controversy, Susskind said.

Theoretical physicist Don Page at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, noted that there will be no way to find evidence to support Hawking's idea in the immediate future. Astronomers will not be able to detect any difference in the behavior of black holes from what they have already observed.

Nevertheless, Hawking's new proposal "might lead to a more complete theory regarding quantum gravity that makes other predictions that are testable," Page said.

Carroll plans to keep an eye on Hawking in the days ahead: "It's very plausible Hawking has a much better argument that he hasn't yet gotten down on paper."

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Are Black Holes Actually Dark Energy Stars?

Posted By Jesse Stone on Oct 15, 2018

What does the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way look like? Early next year, we might find out. The Event Horizon Telescope—really a virtual telescope with an effective diameter of the Earth—has been pointing at Sagittarius A* for the last several years. Most researchers in the astrophysics community expect that its images, taken from telescopes all over the Earth, will show the telltale signs of a black hole: a bright swirl of light, produced by a disc of gases trapped in the black hole’s orbit, surrounding a black shadow at the center—the event horizon. This encloses the region of space where the black-hole singularity’s gravitational pull is too strong for light to escape.

But George Chapline, a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, doesn’t expect to see a black hole. He doesn’t believe they’re real. In 2005, he told Nature that “it’s a near certainty that black holes don’t exist” and—building on previous work he’d done with physics Nobel laureate Robert Laughlin—introduced an alternative model that he dubbed “dark energy stars.” Dark energy is a term physicists use to describe a peculiar kind of energy that appears to permeate the entire universe. It expands the fabric of spacetime itself, even as gravity attempts to bring objects closer together. Chapline believes that the immense energies in a collapsing star cause its protons and neutrons to decay into a gas of photons and other elementary particles, along with what he refers to as “droplets of vacuum energy.” These form a “condensed” phase of spacetime—much like a gas under enough pressure transitions to liquid—that has a much higher density of dark energy than the spacetime surrounding the star. This provides the pressure necessary to hold gravity at bay and prevent a singularity from forming. Without a singularity in spacetime, there is no black hole.

The idea has found no support in the astrophysical community—over the last decade, Chapline’s papers on this topic have garnered only single-digit citations. His most popular paper in particle physics, by contrast, has been cited over 600 times. But Chapline suspects his days of wandering in the scientific wilderness may soon be over. He believes that the Event Horizon Telescope will offer evidence that dark energy stars are real.

This strange toroidal geometry isn’t a bug of dark energy stars, but a feature.

The idea goes back to a 2000 paper, with Evan Hohlfeld and David Santiago, in which Chapline and Laughlin modeled spacetime as a Bose-Einstein condensate—a state of matter that arises when taking an extremely low-density gas to extremely low temperatures, near absolute zero. Chapline and Laughlin’s model is quantum mechanical in nature: General relativity emerges as a consequence of the way that the spacetime condensate behaves on large scales. Spacetime in this model also undergoes phase transformations when it gains or loses energy. Other scientists find this to be a promising path, too. A 2009 paper by a group of Japanese physicists stated that “[Bose-Einstein Condensates] are one of the most promising quantum fluids for” analogizing curved spacetime.

Chapline and Laughlin argue that they can describe the collapsed stars that most scientists take to be black holes as regions where spacetime has undergone a phase transition. They find that the laws of general relativity are valid everywhere in the vicinity of the collapsed star, except at the event horizon, which marks the boundary between two different phases of spacetime.

In the condensate model the event horizon surrounding a collapsed star is no longer a point of no return but instead a traversable, physical surface. This feature, along with the lack of a singularity that is the signature feature of black holes, means that paradoxes associated with black holes, like the destruction of information, don’t arise. Laughlin has been reticent to conjecture too far beyond his and Chapline’s initial ideas. He believes Chapline is onto something with dark energy stars, “but where we part company is in the amount of speculating we are willing to do about what ‘phase’ of the vacuum might be inside” what most scientists call black holes, Laughlin said. He’s holding off until experimental data reveals more about the interior phase. “I will then write my second paper on the subject,” he said.

In recent years Chapline has continued to refine his dark energy star model in collaboration with several other authors, including Pawel Mazur of the University of South Carolina and Piotr Marecki of Leipzig University. He’s concluded that dark energy stars aren’t spherical or oblate, like black holes. Instead, they have the shape of a torus, or donut. In a rotating compact object, like a dark energy star, Chapline believes quantum effects in the spacetime condensate generate a large vortex along the object’s axis of rotation. Because the region inside the vortex is empty—think of the depression that forms at the center of whirlpool—the center of the dark energy star is hollow, like an apple without its core. A similar effect is observed when quantum mechanics is used to model rotating drops of superfluid. There too, a central vortex can form at the center of a rotating drop and, surprisingly, change its shape from a sphere to a torus.

In the condensate model the event horizon surrounding a collapsed star is no longer a point of no return but instead a traversable, physical surface.

For Chapline, this strange toroidal geometry isn’t a bug of dark energy stars, but a feature, as it helps explain the origin and shape of astrophysical jets—the highly energetic beams of ionized matter that are generated along the axis of rotation of a compact object like a black hole. Chapline believes he’s identified a mechanism in dark energy stars that explains observations of astrophysical jets better than mainstream ones, which posit that energy is extracted from the accretion disk outside of a black hole and focused into a narrow beam along the black hole’s axis of rotation. To Chapline, matter and energy falling toward a dark energy star would make its way to the inner throat (the “donut hole”), where electrons orbiting the throat would, as in a Biermann Battery, generate magnetic fields powerful enough to drive the jets.

Chapline points to recent experimental work where scientists, at the OMEGA Laser Facility at the University of Rochester, created magnetized jets using lasers to form a ring-like excitation on a flat surface. Though the experiments were not conducted with dark energy stars in mind, Chapline believes it provides support for his theory since the ring-like excitation—Chapline calls it a “ring of fire”—is exactly what he would expect to happen along the throat of a dark energy star. He believes the ring could be the key to supporting the existence of dark energy stars. “This ought to eventually show up clearly” in the Event Horizon Telescope images, Chapline said, referring to the ring.

Chapline also points out that dark energy stars will not be completely opaque to light, as matter and light can pass into, but also out of, a dark energy star. A dark energy star won’t have a completely black interior—instead it will show a distorted image of any stars behind it. Other physicists, though, are skeptical that these kinds of deviations from conventional black hole models would show up in the Event Horizon Telescope data. Raul Carballo-Rubio, a physicist at the International School for Advanced Studies, in Trieste, Italy, has developed his own alternative model to black holes known as semi-classical relativistic stars. Speaking more generally about alternative black hole models Caraballo-Rubio said, “The differences [with black holes] that would arise in these models are too minute to be detected” by the Event Horizon Telescope.

Chapline plans to discuss his dark energy star predictions in December, at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara. But even if his predictions are confirmed, he said he doesn’t expect the scientific community to become convinced overnight. “I expect that for the next few years the [Event Horizon Telescope] people will be confused by what they see.”

Jesse Stone is a freelance writer based in Iowa City, Iowa. Reach him at moc.liamg|enotsbessej#moc.liamg|enotsbessej.

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Where is the closest black hole?

March 21, 2016 by Fraser Cain, Universe Today**

(edited for accuracy by FrstUrantianOmneeonist)

Where is the closest black hole?


…You know that saying, "keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?" That advice needs to go right out the window when we're talking black holes. They're the worst enemies you could have and you want them as far away as possible.

We're talking (about) regions of space where matter is compressed so densely that the only way to escape is to be traveling faster than the speed of light. And as we know, you can't go faster than the speed of light. So… there's no escape.

Get too close to the black hole and you'll be compressed [eventually] into [neutrons].

But you can be reasonably distant from a black hole too, and still have your day ruined. A black hole reaches out through the light years with its gravity. And if one were to wander too close to our Solar System, it would wreak havoc on all our precious planets.

The planets and even the Sun would be gobbled up, or smashed together, or even thrown out of the Solar System entirely.

Black holes are (usually) unkillable. Anything you might try to do to them just makes them bigger, stronger and angrier. Your only hope is to just wait them out over the eons it takes for them to evaporate. (Idea: dark star evaporation myt be enkrajd artificially.)

It makes sense to keep track of all the black holes out there, just in case we might need to evacuate this Solar System in a hurry.

Where is the closest black hole?

…There are two kinds of black holes out there: the supermassive black holes at the heart of every galaxy, and the stellar mass black holes formed when massive stars die in a supernova.

The supermassive ones are relatively straightforward. There's one at the heart of (almost) every single galaxy in the Universe. One in the middle of the Milky Way, located about 27,000 light-years away. One in Andromeda 2.5 million light years away, and so on.

No problem, the' supermassive ones are really far away, no threat to us (now).

The stellar mass ones might be more of a problem…

Here's the problem. Black holes don't emit any radiation, they're completely invisible, so there's no easy way to see them in the sky. The only you'd know there's a black hole is if you were close enough to see the background starlight getting distorted. And if you're close enough to see that, you're already dead.

The closest black hole we know of is V616 Monocerotis, also known as V616 Mon. It's located about 3,000 light years away, and has between 9-13 times the mass of the Sun. We know it's there because it's located in a binary system with a star with about half the mass of the Sun. Only a black hole could make its binary partner buzz around so quickly. Astronomers can't see the black hole, they just know it's there by the whirling gravity dance.

See: Vid: What If the Smallest Black Hole Entered the Solar System?

  • (According tu Sohlr Sistem Simulation, ohnlee Mercury and Earth stay in ohrbit uhrownd our Sun!!! Thuh mohshun uv owr sun in reeleyshun tu thuh mohshun uv Dahrk Stahr V616 Mon iz not shown.

The next closest black hole is the classic Cygnus X-1, which is about 6,000 light-years away. It has about 15 times the mass of the Sun, and once again, it's in a binary system.

The third closest black hole, is also in a binary system.

See the problem here? The reality is that (only) a fraction of black holes are in binary systems, but that's our only way to detect them.

More likely there are more black holes much more close than the ones astronomers have been able to discover.

This all sounds terrifying, I'm sure, and now you've probably got one eye on the sky, watching for that telltale distortion of light from an approaching black hole. But these events are impossibly rare.

The Solar System has been around for more than 4.5 billion years, with all the planets going around and around without interruption. Even if a black hole passed the [[Solar System]]] within a few dozen light years, it would have messed up the orbits significantly, and life probably wouldn't be here to consider this fact.

We didn't encounter a black hole in billions of years, and probably won't encounter one for (an uncumpeewted numbr uv) years.

Sadly, the answer to this question is… we don't know. We just don't know if the closest black holes is a few light years away, or it's actually V616 Mon… (Ohnlee tym and reesrch will tell.)

Read more at:

Ther ahr 2 kynkz uv Dahrk Stahrz: Nwtron Lyt Stahr swprnohvuh reemeyndrz and Swprmassiv Dahrk Stahrz in thuh mid uv mohst gallakseez…

Swprnohvuh and (Supermassive=Swprmassiv) Dark Star Black Hole Syzohmz kommentehree uv Omneeonizm uv Omneeoh

Infihnit numbrz uv gallakseez usually form with a supermassive black hole Dark Star in their sentr. Gallaxeez ahr lyk gravity funnelz uv the galactic central bulj, which usually contain a (supermassive=swprmassiv) black hole dark star. Supermassive Dark Stars grow by accretion of matter. Therefore the gravity uv each galactic central supermassive dark star iz increasing, thus causing thu galactic radius uv orbit uv solar systems lyk ours tu slightly lessen due tu the increase uv central gravity uv thu growing black hole. Therefore the millions uv years orbits uv solar systems lyk ourz gradually lessenz az all galactic matter iz very slowly pulled into thu galactic central bulge which iz food for the central dark star hwz srfas iz kahld blak hohl.

Thu only way tu hopefully someday eventually tu steybulyz thu orbits uv our and other solar systems in our Milky Way (or any other galaxy ohr Dahrk Stahr grav fuhnul) iz for some organization(z) tu at some time become Anti-Black-Hole- Ists, hw ahr realistically Anti-Dark+Star+Izm/Ists with sum uv them eventually organizing appropriate Syuhntist Fizzissist Engineering Institwts, tho our wrld'z civilizations hav thousands uv Lyt Yearz tu accomplish this. Some galaxiez don't hav central dark stars and this might be explained az either the formation uv a galaxy and its central bulge without a supermassive black hole or evidence uv intelligence there by kozzing the destruction of uv the central black hole, possibly tu seyv a civilization from dahrk stahr destruction.

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