Can black holes travel the universe?

(ORDO NEWS) — The universe is full of mysteries. Take, for example, black holes – a region in space-time, the gravitational attraction of which is so great that not only objects moving at the speed of light, but also photons of light itself cannot leave it. Let me remind you that the existence of these mysterious objects was first confirmed in 2017 after the discovery of gravitational waves. And two years later, in 2019, astronomers got their first real picture of the shadow of a black hole for the first time. But what else do scientists know about these amazing, massive objects? According to the authors of the new study, supermassive black holes may turn out to be the most real “tunnels” through which travelers on spaceships can theoretically travel across the vast universe. Notably, the new study is consistent with the

Black holes – the way to other universes

In 1915, Albert Einstein sent for publication a work with the basic equations of general relativity (GR). Applying the universal speed of light in his equations, the scientist suggested that the laws of physics remain unchanged in any given frame of reference. As we know today, Einstein’s theory of gravity predicted the existence of black holes and space-time tunnels. And British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking even believed that black holes could be a portal to other universes.

In a 2015 paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, Stephen Hawking, Andrew Strominger of Harvard University, and Malcolm Perry of Cambridge University concluded that information absorbed by a black hole is sent straight to another universe.

Hawking and his colleagues refute the assertion that everything that falls into a black hole disappears into it without a trace and irrevocably. The famous theoretical physicist believed that black holes do not live forever, and some of the information absorbed by them does not disappear without a trace, but seeps out in the form of photons with almost zero energy. These photons remain in space after the black hole evaporates, a process called Hawking radiation.

Hawking radiation is the main argument of researchers regarding the decay (evaporation) of small black holes. It is believed that in the process of decay, a black hole emits elementary particles into space, mainly photons.

According to a 2015 paper, all information absorbed by a black hole will be stored at the edge of this region, called the event horizon. Photons will act as carriers of information; they will record data on the properties of particles “eaten” by the black hole. “If you’re caught in a black hole, don’t worry — there is a way out,” Hawking said in a hall at Stockholm University. “Here is a ship plunging into a black hole and moving into another universe.”

Since everything in our world is encoded with quantum mechanical information. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, this information will never completely disappear, no matter what happens to it. Even if it gets sucked into a black hole. True, there is one important nuance in Hawking’s theory – travel through a black hole is possible only in one direction – an alternative universe. Today, however, many researchers believe that black holes – in theory – can be not only portals to other worlds, but also tunnels through which you can travel through the universe.

Can you travel through black holes?

In a paper published in November 2020 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astrophysicists speculate that supermassive black holes may actually be “walk-through” wormholes. Let me remind you that scientists understand by wormholes a hypothetical feature of space-time, which at every moment of time is a “tunnel” in space. The researchers note that the scale of our universe is colossal, and with the help of wormholes, space travelers could well pave their way to the farthest corners of the universe.

And this is where the most interesting thing begins – wormholes were predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity (like black holes used to be), but their existence has not been proven to date. A team of astrophysicists led by Mikhail Petrovich, an astrophysicist at the Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo in St. Petersburg, has proposed a new way to search for hypothetical tunnels in the fabric of space-time.

According to the authors of the scientific work, wormholes in the center of extremely bright galaxies can “emit a characteristic spectrum”, which can be detected using observations and powerful telescopes. Capturing this signature will not only provide evidence for the existence of wormholes, it will open up entirely new avenues for potential space travel – and even time travel.

“A very interesting and unusual consequence of the existence of wormholes of this type is the fact that these wormholes are natural time machines,” the Vice portal quoted Mikhail Petrovich as saying.

“The wormholes we are looking at in this study are traversable wormholes, so in theory a spacecraft can travel through them. But, of course, it should be understood that we know very little about the internal structure of wormholes and, moreover, we do not know for sure whether they exist at all. ”

Some galaxies contain luminous nuclei called active galactic nuclei (AGNs), which eject massive double jets of charged matter into their surroundings that travel at speeds close to the speed of light. Scientists believe AGNs are fueled by tidal interactions between supermassive black holes and accretion disks that form from gas, dust, and stars falling into them.

Piotrovich and his colleagues speculate that AGNs are “mouths of wormholes,” not supermassive black holes. If this is true, then these galactic nuclei could be connected to each other through space and time, which could lead to the fall of matter through both mouths of the associated AGN pair. In fact, the idea that AGNs could be wormholes dates back to 2005, but the new research is the first of its kind to suggest a new way of possibly discovering the legendary tunnels.

One way or another, the nearest such object is located millions of light-years from the Milky Way, so we, with all our desire, will not be able to test the words of scientists in practice. However, finding evidence of wormholes – even from afar – would be a real breakthrough in our understanding of the universe. What’s more, detecting wormholes will also help scientists learn more about black holes.


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