- Researchers say there could be a wormhole at the center of black holes
- Any matter passing through would be stretched to extremes to enter
- It would be returned to normal size upon exiting in a different region
- This goes against idea that matter sucked into black hole is lost forever
Deep inside of a black hole lies a region known as the gravitational singularity, where space-time curves toward infinity, and no matter passing through can survive – or so it’s been thought.In a new study, researchers suggest there may instead be a way out through a wormhole at the center of the black hole, which acts as a ‘back door.’By this theory, anything traveling through the black hole would be ‘spaghettified,’ or stretched to the extreme, but returned back to its normal size when it emerges in a different region of the universe.
In the new theory, anything traveling through the black hole would be ‘spaghettified,’ or stretched to the extreme, but returned back to its normal size when it emerges in a different region of the universe. An artist's impression of a wormhole is pictured
Physicists from the Institute of Corpuscular Physics in Valencia propose a new scenario that considers the singularity as an imperfection in the geometric structure of space-time.To test this idea, the researchers took uncommon approach, using geometric structures similar to those of a crystal of graphene layer, which better match the activity inside of a black hole.
For the study, published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, the team focused on a type of black hole which is motionless and electrically-charged.
‘Black holes are a theoretical laboratory for trying out new ideas about gravity,’ says Gonzalo Olmo, a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the University of Valencia.
‘Just as crystals have imperfections in their microscopic structure, the central region of a black hole can be interpreted as an anomaly in space-time, which requires new geometric elements in order to be able to describe them more precisely.
‘We explored all possible options, taking inspiration from facts observed in nature.’
In a new study, researchers suggest there may instead be a way out through a wormhole at the centre of the black hole, which acts as a ¿back door.¿ An illustration of a black hole is pictured
In a new study, researchers suggest there may instead be a way out through a wormhole at the centre of the black hole, which acts as a ‘back door.’ An illustration of a black hole is pictured
By analyzing the new geometries, the researchers found a center point with a small, spherical surface, representing a wormhole at the heart of a black hole.
‘Our theory naturally resolves several problems in the interpretation of electrically-charged black holes,’ Olmo explains.
WHAT IS SPAGHETTIFICATION?If you stray too close to a black hole, then you will stretch out, just like spaghetti, due to a gravitation gradient across your body.
Imagine that you are headed feet first towards a black hole.
Since your feet are physically closer to the black hole, they will feel a stronger gravitation pull towards it than your head will.
You arms, by virtue of the fact that they're not at the centre of your body, will be attracted in a slightly different direction than your head is.
This will cause parts of the body toward the edges to be brought inwards.
The net result is not only an elongation of the body overall, but also a thinning out in the middle.
Hence, your body or any other object, such as Earth, will start to resemble spaghetti long before it hits the centre of the black hole.
‘In the first instance, we resolve the problem of the singularity, since there is a door at the centre of the black hole, the wormhole, through which space and time can continue.’
The equations revealed that a wormhole at the centre would be smaller than an atomic nucleus, but increases in size relative to the charge stored within the black hole.
Researchers say the matter inside the black hole would not be lost forever as it¿s previously been thought, and would instead be expelled into another area of the universe.
Researchers say the matter inside the black hole would not be lost forever as it’s previously been thought, and would instead be expelled into another area of the universe.
If any matter were passing through, it would be stretched to extreme measures, allowing it to enter the wormhole.
Then, it would be compacted as it comes out on the other side.
While it’s unlikely that a human would survive this process, the researchers say the matter inside the black hole would not be lost forever as it’s previously been thought, and would instead be expelled into another area of the universe.
And, the researchers say there would be no need for ‘exotic’ energy to generate the wormhole, as Einstein’s theory of gravity suggests.
‘In our theory,’ the researcher explained, ‘the wormhole appears out of ordinary matter and energy, such as an electric field.’
WHAT IS A WORMHOLE?Space-time can be warped and distorted. It takes an enormous amount of matter or energy to create such distortions, but theoretically, distortions are possible.
In the case of the wormhole, a shortcut is made by warping the fabric of space-time. Imagine folding a piece of paper with two pencil marks drawn on it to represent two points in space-time.
The line between them shows the distance from one point to the other in normal space-time.
If the paper is now bent and folded over almost double - the equivalent to warping space-time - then poking the pencil through the paper provides a much shorter way of linking the two points, in the same way a wormhole would create a shortcut.
The problem with using wormholes to travel in space or time is that they are inherently unstable. When a particle enters a wormhole, it also creates fluctuations that cause the structure to collapse in on it.