from the under-pressure dept.
The University of Sussex scientists have shown that [black holes] are in fact even more complex thermodynamic systems, with not only a temperature but also a pressure.
The serendipitous discovery was made by Professor Xavier Calmet and Folkert Kuipers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sussex, and is published today in Physical Review D.
Calmet and Kuipers were perplexed by an extra figure that was presenting in equations that they were running on quantum gravitational corrections to the entropy of a black hole.
[...] Xavier Calmet, Professor of Physics at the University of Sussex, said: "Our finding that Schwarzschild black holes have a pressure as well as a temperature is even more exciting given that it was a total surprise. I'm delighted that the research that we are undertaking at the University of Sussex into quantum gravity has furthered the scientific communities' wider understanding of the nature of black holes.
"Hawking's landmark intuition that black holes are not black but have a radiation spectrum that is very similar to that of a black body makes black holes an ideal laboratory to investigate the interplay between quantum mechanics, gravity and thermodynamics.
"If you consider black holes within only general relativity, one can show that they have a singularity in their centres where the laws of physics as we know them must breakdown. It is hoped that when quantum field theory is incorporated into general relativity, we might be able to find a new description of black holes.
Xavier Calmet, Folkert Kuipers. Quantum gravitational corrections to the entropy of a Schwarzschild black hole, Physical Review D (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.104.066012)