Black Holes, Universe

Are Black Holes Really So Weird?

The aura of the Black Hole is hardly less within the astronomical community, to quantum physicists, or relativists (scientists who specialize in general and/or special relativity), even if not quite as dramatic as a doomsday device. Although their actual existence, a logical consequence of Einstein’s theories of relativity, is little doubt today, Einstein himself refused to give them credence. Actually, the well-ordered universe wouldn’t create such monstrosities that he believed. From that point of view, he was not alone, and as their theoretical certainty grew ever stronger, scientists tried to find ever more unique ways to prevent them from forming-to no avail.

But are Black Holes really as strange and mysterious, and as unique astronomical objects worthy of their aura and status?

Black Holes may have no hair, so if you’ve ‘seen’ one Black Hole you’ve ‘seen’ them all, that is to say, they lack the individuality of whatever formed them. In translation, a Black Hole made of rusted cars will ‘look’ the same as one made of star-stuff, as one made of pure gold, silver and diamonds. But there are other properties that Black Holes already have (or may have). Most certainly all Black Holes have mass and therefore gravity; they certainly have a size (a volume, an area, a circumference, etc.); they certainly have a (spherical) form. The temperature of Black Holes (against all intuitive predictions) is (Hawking radiation). They may have spin (rotation), and they may have electric charges overall. What, instead, is special about this?

The property we equate most with Black Holes is gravity, a function of space-the larger the space, the greater the force. Escape velocity is synonymous with the idea-how far do you have to travel to avoid the force of an object well never to return.

The moon now has momentum and a level of escape correlated with it. Planet Earth has higher gravity and hence higher speed of escape (around seven miles per second). Earth Jupiter has a much greater magnetic force and so you ought to avoid even more oomph. Our sun is higher on another level, and so it goes. Keeping in mind that gravity is not related to the height of it, but to its density, a White Dwarf star, while smaller than our sun, has higher gravity and therefore avoids motion. There comes Neutron Stars (pulsars) and to get away from those babies you just need some rocket fuel!

There’s, however, a speed limit, escape or otherwise. That limit is the speed of light, or about 186,000 miles per second (about 300,000 km / s). But what occurs when there is so much air, or so much force, that the speed of escape is greater than that of 186,000 miles per second? This is the easy reaction-you can not leave; nothing will leave-not even sun. That’s pretty straight forward and you don’t really require a physics course to find that out! The absence of light is darkness, so any object with a velocity of escape greater than that of light will be dark-that is a Black Hole. The only difference twixt a Black Hole and any other macro object is that the escape velocity of a Black Hole exceeds that of light. It is; end of differences.

If you can’t see a Black Hole, how do you possibly say (as opposed to theoretically) that they really exist? Easy-Black Holes have mass, so we can see the motion of Black Holes affects matter. And if you see a star moving around something you can’t see towards and fro in space, so it is definitely a Black Hole. Matter (interstellar dust and gas) that spirals in, which may also send off a tell-tale electromagnetic signature just before reaching a Black Hole.

Individuality is forced out, because of the strong gravity. The Earth has heights (mountain peaks) and lows (ocean troughs) and a small equatorial bulge, so if its scale was diminished (holding mass) to the degree that its gravity produced a rate of escape greater than space, then The Earth would become a total disk of super-dense crushed matter. No tops, no troughs, no bulge-no hair or attitude!

Now objects tend to have a surface-an interior and an exterior. In the case of Planet Earth, let’s call in under the inside of the crust Earth; above the outside of the crust Earth. The same is true with Black Holes. A Black Hole inside the middle is called the singularity. A Black Hole’s ‘surface’ is called the event horizon-it ‘s the purely mathematical line where the speed of escape goes from faster than the speed of light (event horizon and below) to a speed of escape allowed (event horizon and above). The normally quoted velocity of escape from Earth is provided to be at the ground surface or sea level of Earth. Now objects tend to have a surface-an interior and an exterior. In the case of Planet Earth, let’s call in under the inside of the crust Earth; above the outside of the crust Earth. The same is true with Black Holes. A Black Hole inside the middle is called the singularity. A Black Hole’s ‘surface’ is called the event horizon-it ‘s the purely mathematical line where the speed of escape goes from faster than the speed of light (event horizon and below) to a speed of escape allowed (event horizon and above). The normally quoted velocity of escape from Earth is provided to be at the ground surface or sea level of Earth.

It’s what’s below the horizon of the event that is really of interest since it can’t be seen; no information escapes to inform us or give us any real clues about the conditions below. One must rely on the theoretical equations of physics to predict conditions-conditions that can’t really be verified by any direct observation.

Unfortunately, as one reaches singularity, certain equations, the equations of general relativity, break down. That’s because in order to come to terms with what a singularity is like, one must merge general relativity (gravity) with quantum physics (because the singularity is thought to be of a size within the realm of quantum phenomena), or produce a theory of quantum gravity. Alas, that’s yet to be finished. So, knowing the mechanics inside a Black Hole is one of the last frontiers of Mother Nature!

Taking into their logical conclusions, for example, the equations of physics (general relativity) dictate that a singularity must have zero volume and infinite density. Physicists are fully conscious that something is off if ‘infinities’ show up in their musings, so they ought to go back to the drawing board (blackboard?) to improve it to a greater or lesser degree. Hopefully, a theory of quantum gravity will do that, but you will find texts for the here, and now that say a singularity has zero volume and infinite density. That is simply a fallacy because if one has infinity mass, one would have infinite gravity because the larger the mass that an object has, the larger its gravitational attraction.

While gravity now dilutes as it extends across space and away from the center of its attraction, every infinity dilution is always infinity. Because Black Holes and associated singularities are thought to be common in the observable universe, there should be at least one that has had time since the Big Bang to project its gravitational influence upon us-say the massive singularity of the Black Hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, less than 50,000 light-years away. Obviously we are not immune to an eternal tidal force against our celestial core, which appears to bring on the kibosh and indicates the collapse in what the calculations except for the singularity of a Black Hole.

Yes, if the singularity of a Black Hole doesn’t have zero space and therefore limitless mass, then it would obviously have a finite space and a finite mass that has consequences for the beginning of our Universe as popular theory connects the Big Bang phenomenon with a singularity (and if ever there was to be a Major Crash case, it will have to end up with a singularity).

Something like this goes for logic. A singularity must have a finite density, because it is ridiculous to have infinite density. A singularity will have a limited volume since anybody that has mass can not be dimensionless-this too would be absurd-and because they have gravity Black Holes undoubtedly have mass. If the Black Hole continues to grow, then it continues to add mass to the singularity, and its density increases. But eventually, the density reaches some kind of maximum possible-after all, it is finite and can’t become infinite. The volume or size of the singularity must grow-and grow-and grow-as matter continues to be added to the singularity. The amount of singularity ultimately needs to be such that it comes beyond the domain of quantum mechanics. In other terms, interpreted, not only is it a singularity greater than zero length, it may not be even small. This may be enormous-stellar in scale; interstellar in scale too! That then puts an end to the fallacy that our whole cosmos began off as something smaller than a pinprick-like atomic scale!

Now the other interesting thing is that gravity is probably not really a force like electromagnetism or the powerful and weak nuclear forces, and should not be lumped in with them (which physics texts are doing). Instead, gravity is just a representation of space-time mechanics according to general relativity. As the saying goes, ‘matter (gravity) tells how to bend space-time; bent space-time tells how to move matter.’ We interpret that movement as gravity.

Therefore, space-time around, inside, even in a Black Hole is almost as warped, even twisted as you can find, or vice versa, the spatial structure is so intense or curved that not even light can penetrate beyond the boundary of the events of the Black Hole. The structure produces a kind of well, so deep and so steep that the speed required to exit is higher than it requires for special relativity. [Special relativity covers speed of light; general relativity covers gravity and time-space.]

How does Space-time ‘s intense warping say-aside from turning the Black Hole black? Ok, probably if you properly manipulate space-time, then you may, in principle, create shortcuts across space and/or time.

Let’s bring on an example. Say you ‘re getting a rocket, then labeling the top of a North and South Pole. The difference between the two is either half of the balloon ‘s length (if you go through the atmosphere or regular space), or the width (if you go through the tube, consider it hyperspace). Now squeeze the balloon in such a way that the North and South Poles are forced close to each other; perhaps touching even. Although this does not serve to minimize the distance of travel if you sit on the surface (normal space), the distance of tunneling (hyperspace) in the now twisted balloon is decreased considerably. If it took you a year to decide in the typical balloon to tunnel from north to south, so post-warping can only take you a week (or less).

In fact, if the Poles were squeezed into direct contact, then you could instantly travel from one to the other via the normal space-no need for hyperspace. Naturally, if you really wanted to travel from some other point on the surface of the balloon to some other point, the squeezing may not do you much good. In fact, distance East-West has increased! So, the odds of the warping being just right for your travel needs could be very problematic. If you want to actually go to Alpha Centauri, a local Black Hole warping that favors you traveling to Sirius quick smart is of little consequence. But then, as a certain old sage said, ‘life was not supposed to be easy!’

Now that space and time are bound intractably, points in time, like space points, can be pressed closely together. And the pieces from the north and south poles might potentially be a history and a future. Well, you actually have a mixture of both because it’s just space-time. You will not fly in the clink of an eye from 2000 AD Adelaide to 2000 AD Sydney, nor from 2000 AD Adelaide to 3000 AD Adelaide in the same clink, but from (say) 2000 AD Adelaide to 3000 AD Sydney in the blink of an eye.

I saw evidence that a Black Hole could so massively distort space-time that it might ‘pinch’ itself out of our Universe and fully vanish. Clearly, because it were so it might not have much impact over our universe anymore. However, if something as massive as the Black Hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy isn’t enough to pinch space-time enough to disappear, then maybe it just doesn’t happen-or it may take the mass of a whole universe to do it. Tell the mother of all Black Holes in one world, Big Crunch and singularity warps space-time so deeply that it is the Big Bang on another planet!

Already the prevailing belief of Black Holes is that if it discovers itself under it, nothing comes out of the event horizon. It is not necessarily the truth. As cosmologist/physicist Stephen Hawking found, radiation can, in principle, escape-kind of-and this radiation is now considered Hawking radiation. Macro objects, objects that we equate with traditional mechanics, can not go from beyond an event horizon to beyond an event horizon without going quicker than the speed of light, which is, sadly, the actual celestial speed limit if you be below the event horizon. There is no passport for ‘walking out of court.’ It is not permitted to fly faster than light velocities.

But, in the micro-size realm and subject to quantum phenomena, any elementary particles can escape-again in theory; this has not been verified by direct observation (which is currently in the too hard basket). You are a fundamental particle, just below the horizon of the event, you might, owing to quantity fluctuations or jitters/vacuum energy / Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, quantity tunnel your way, the smallest fraction of an imaginable distance, past the horizon boundary of the mathematical event, outward and potential freedom. Of course, most particles growing get drawn back in again, however, a tiny fraction gets out, bringing energy with it (thus the black hole has a temperature) and thus mass, and the black hole loses some mass and shrinks a little. This quantum tunneling, which crosses an energy barrier without theoretically having enough energy to do so, is kind of like how a radioactive atom goes ‘poof’ and decays to a more stable state. There’s something in the nucleus that doesn’t have enough energy to break out, yet quantum tunnels are coming out – ‘poof.’

Like a human being, say from the very moment a Black Hole is born, from the gravitational collapse of a super-massive star running out of nuclear fuel and stellar puff, it will begin to die, to evaporate through Hawking radiation. However, in a universe still overwhelmingly dominated by matter and energy (including the all-pervasive cosmic microwave background radiation), much more stuff finds its way into a Black Hole than it gets out – by many magnitude orders. Millions of bits (particles) get stuck within each bit (particle) that escapes. But (and here I assume an ever-expanding World that never ends in a Major Crunch), what occurs when all the usable matter and energy (all those particle bits) has been absorbed and black holes will no longer evolve (and here I assume that actual black holes are so far from each other that they don’t eat each other). Then, evaporation — Hawking radiation output — exceeds input, and slowly, ever so slowly, and I mean extremely slowly (as measured over trillions of years), Black Holes becomes smaller and smaller until nothing remains. Yet our already rapidly expanding and exponentially greater World is packed with particles-particles swirling in the everlasting darkness of near-absolute zero temperature (five degrees Kelvin, the total potential minimum conceivable temperature).

Nevertheless, Black Holes’ final demise has presented a significant concern for some scientists, creating quite a deal of confusion in the meantime.

What happens to the content of the information that a Black Hole can engulf? Say you throw a book or a CD into a Black Hole or a fully-loaded human brain. Is the knowledge in that book (or something else) permanently lost to the Universe? [Maybe given the overload of information we are suffering from that could be a blessing! ]

You can not spit macro things out of a Black Hole without infringing fundamental physics. Macro stuff, say in the form of a book or a CD or a human, stuff full of information, falls into-that identical macro stuff, stuff full of information, doesn’t, can’t, comes out again. It is not only an unusual occurrence but an unimaginable one and a breach of physics rules. But at least, in theory, we have seen that Hawking radiation can get back out because radiation is not macro, its micro, or in the quantum realm.

Notice that it wasn’t Hawking radiation that was first dropped into the Black Hole, but a book or CD or a person or some macro entity, and avoiding Hawking radiation isn’t the book or CD or something, just a bit of this and a bit of that so there’s no way to differentiate that from this. Although apparently there’s no way to reassemble the bits into all of its separate meaningful messages; one-on-one, all the bits are still there.

If you were able to somehow reassemble bits of Hawking radiation emitted from all the bits and pieces that the Black Hole swallowed-which can escape-into a meaningful message(s), how would you know that message was part and parcel of some information that first went down the Black Hole gurgler? You are most likely to have brought together one letter from one journal, another letter from another novel, and another letter from a different book, etc. The information you have assembled (say sentence) in that form never entered the Black Hole at all!

Even, in principle, a Black Hole eventually sprays all the information it has consumed throughout its lifetime, essentially through Hawking radiation. There will be a way for certain scientists to reassemble the pieces into all their individual coherent messages; one-on-one.

So the controversy lies in that-macro stuff goes in; macro stuff comes out. Eventually, macro material flees as micro things-Hawking radiation. Some physicists will suggest you couldn’t reassemble and isolate the signal from the noise in theory; some will claim you should, it really needs to be true.

As mentioned above, certain physicists make a huge deal about the loss of knowledge in a Black Hole compared to some other method-possibly due to the already stated non-reversibility aspect. Honestly, Methinks it is a non-event. Why? For what? The basic problem all of this comes down to is that knowledge is a combination of elementary particles-of every type. A paper, or a Dvd, or loses ink from Morse code, or a human brain is a combination of particles. The electron, all alone, doesn’t tell you anything (either does any particular letter in a journal, for that matter-by itself). Loss of knowledge seems to be just another example of dust-to-dust, ashes-to-ashes; perhaps intermediate particles are a more basic case. It’s how the Universe began, and it’s how the Universe finishes up if the latest observational observer patterns persist into the foreseeable future.

There’s another approach to the question, ‘is knowledge lost for life, or is it not.’ A Black Hole is called a probability as it distorts time and space — in the end — eventually, buds from our Galaxy and begins or joins another world, or an infant galaxy (part of a Multiverse). In such a case, any information with it is budded off and forever lost to our Universe. Of course, our disadvantage is the advantage of the other world; maybe a Black Hole(s) in some other world has poured its load (or overload) of knowledge into our Universe!

There’s another spin-off from the Black Holes that allows the concept of kid universes. Within a Multiverse, multiple worlds can have conflicting physics rules. There is no explanation of why the physics rules of our Galaxy and another world ought to be similar. Yes, there may be some worlds where local physics supports Black Holes forming and some worlds where local physics can not produce Black Holes. Such worlds that can create Black Holes quickly can ‘breed’ and generate worlds for children. Many worlds who can’t create Black Holes quickly would ‘breed’ fewer. Any worlds that can’t render Black Holes are going to be empty. Can you see the connection with the Darwinian ideas? Some universes are more ‘fit’ than others to reproduce!

It’s weird, now! There’s another bit of weirdness about Black Holes that I like, and that’s that what’s inside of them might well be a new form of matter. The ordinary matter falls through a Black Hole, but the pressures inside it are so intense that there is a sort of phase change (such as when ice falls to water goes to steam or vice versa) so while it’s always significant, it ‘s essential, but not as we know it. The theoretical proof of that theory is that if you have an affair star and an antimatter star and add them to each other, what you get is an all-powerful Ka-Boom! But, if your matter star compresses into a Black Hole, and your antimatter star compresses into a Black Hole, and you combine the two, it’s just a bigger Black Hole that you get!

Something more strangeness: It is suggested that information going into a Black Hole is actually ‘stored’ in the horizon of the event, that two-dimensional ‘surface’ marking the point of no return surrounding the singularity of the Black Hole – whatever that is. The concept of the event horizon isn’t hard to imagine-Earth ‘s crust and oceans are a two-dimensional surface surrounding the three-dimensional spherical planet.

Now that more and more stuff is reaching a Black Hole, the range of events is increasing appropriately-naturally-just like our crust (area) will get bigger if the amount of Earth increased. The event horizon also constitutes the area from which Hawking radiation is emitted.

Now say you ‘re inside the event horizon of a Black Hole that’s the wrong side to be on, but this is just a thought experiment and I’ll assume you’ve not been crushed into a tiny pinprick of stuff, stuff that could be equally rusted cars or stuff that’s formally made of gold, silver, and diamonds. There are lots of captured radiation (photons) with you in there as the light will penetrate a Black Hole. Those photons can struggle to reach the event horizon, but no farther, losing energy with each unit of distance gained. Their strength was getting drained. I gather that they can hardly touch and ‘reflect’ from the underside of the horizon of the event and come back down again (in the direction of singularity), picking up the energy they used in their futile escape gesture. So, you can see the event horizon from the inside through these trapped photons, being also beneath the event horizon. You can also see beyond the event horizon through new photons entering from outside the event horizon into the Black Hole-photons joining their trapped or prisoner kin. It’s like a mirror in the center. If you’re inside a Black Hole, you can see it out, because light can pass to you through the event horizon of the Black Hole, but you can’t be seen by people on the good side or outside the event horizon because light reflecting off you can’t make it past that event horizon barrier.

Another question, could we live in or translated into a Black Hole, is our Universe a Black Hole? Now one could (and people have) suggested that one could regard the whole Universe as the inside of a Black Hole-after all, nothing can escape from the Universe. Okay, if you can’t escape from a Black Hole inside, and if there is no exit from our World (you ‘re stuck in this Earth, like it or lump it), then a rose by some other name …

Our Universe, though, does not necessarily mimic a true Black Hole because our Universe has a beyond-a outside the limits or horizons that enables stuff to come into our World, our World eventually trapping it.

So, Black Holes reside within a Black Hole Galaxy, maybe reside inside …

Russian dolls inside Russian dolls inside Russian dolls, inside Russian dolls.

Can you become a Black Hole, leaving the highest for the last? Well, presumably the short answer is ‘yes.’ The reasoning goes accordingly. As you fly at ever-increasing speeds, your mass is correspondingly bigger and bigger under special relativity, and your length becomes shorter and shorter. In turn, the mass is becoming bigger and bigger; the own momentum is becoming higher and higher. Your mass will be infinity at light speed (impossible to attain); your length zero; your infinity density and gravity. Okay, not on this. Yet before ever reaching the maximum, your mass will be potentially large enough; your volume small enough, your density and momentum high enough, that you can distort enough space-time to transform into a Black Hole! When mentioned previously, it is unclear what a Black Hole truly consists of. This can not do everything-platinum, silver, and diamonds; rusted cars; or flesh-and-blood (i.e.-you).

First Image of a Black Hole!