Possible Theories of Black Hole Explained
- Black Holes Might Have Hair
In the 1960s, it was thought that black holes could only be distinguished by their mass, spin, and angular momentum. Physicist John Wheeler suggested that any other differentiating information about any black hole is “hair”. Such information is considered to be hidden behind the event horizon, from where even light cannot escape.
However, Stephen Hawking (in 2016) suggested that black holes sport hair made up of zero energy particles. It is believed that these “hair” contain information about the matter consumed by the black hole. While it is just another unproven hypothesis, it may help in answering the question astronomers have had for ages. What happens to matter that is swallowed by black holes?
- They could be Surrounded by Walls of Fire
Black Holes emit Hawking Radiation, a black-body thermal radiation that is created as quantum vacuum fluctuations are converted into particles. The problem with this radiation is that it creates even more confusing questions for physicists.
The particles are produced in pairs and are entangled. Whatever happens to one particle is “felt” by the other. It is still unknown what happens to the particle that is not crushed into a dense point like its pair.
- They May Scramble Information
It is believed that anything that is consumed by a black hole is forever lost to the universe. This is known as the Black Hole Information Paradox, a conundrum that has baffled scientists to date. Although most popular theories suggest that this information is lost forever, some people tend to disagree. They believe that the information is passed out again in the particles of Hawking radiation.
The scrambling of information is supported by the notion of quantum chaos. According to Dejan Stojkovic, interactions between emitted particles may hold information about the black hole itself. He also believes that the information is not necessarily lost forever.
- Black Holes could be Dark Matter
Multiple black holes were created after the Big Bang. These massive objects give off no light and that’s the reason why physicists associate primordial black holes with dark matter.
Astronomers detect these ancient black holes using a technique called Microlensing. When a black hole passes in front of a distant star, it bends some of the starlight towards us. By detecting these bright blips of light, astronomers can detect primordial black holes.
- Black Holes Can Lead to Time Travel
Black holes have a very strong gravitation pull. Consequently, the mass of a black hole is crushed into an indefinitely dense point. This force of attraction is so strong that these objects can even bend time around themselves. Physicists were forced to search for alternative explanations because it seems physically impossible.
One of these explanations is called Loop Quantum Gravity. It suggests that the very fabric of space-time is strongly curved at the center of black holes. It further explains that a certain part of black holes extends into the future. If that holds true, matter entering black holes is essentially traveling forward in time.
This means that if a person falls into a black hole, time will start to slow down as he/she approaches the center. Theoretically, billions of years will pass away as the person dives towards the center. This makes time travel seem futile because no one would survive the fall into a black hole. However, it’s just one of the many possibilities about black holes and so far, the idea remains theoretical.