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posted by hubie on Friday November 18, @02:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-fire-up-the-Rocinante dept.

"You'll get to know the difference when you either die or you pass through":

A team of physicists from Sofia University in Bulgaria say that wormholes, which are hypothetical tunnels linking one part of the universe to another, might be hiding in plain sight — in the form of black holes, New Scientist reports.

Black holes have long puzzled scientists, gobbling up matter and never letting it escape.

But where does all of this matter go? Physicists have long toyed with the idea that these black holes could be leading to "white holes," or wells that spew out streams of particles and radiation.

These two ends could together form a wormhole, or an Einstein-Rosen bridge to be specific, which some physicists believe could stretch any amount of time and space, a tantalizing theory that could rewrite the laws of spacetime as we understand them today.

Now, the researchers suggest that the "throat" of a wormhole could look very similar to previously discovered black holes, like the monster Sagittarius A* which is believed to be lurking at the center of our galaxy.

"Ten years ago, wormholes were completely in the area of science fiction," team lead Petya Nedkova at Sofia University told New Scientist. "Now, they are coming forward to the frontiers of science and people are actively searching."

[...] The only way to really tell for sure would be to scan these celestial oddities with an even higher-resolution telescope.

The other option, of course, would be to risk it all by flinging yourself into a black hole.

"If you were nearby, you would find out too late," Nedkova told the publication. "You'll get to know the difference when you either die or you pass through."

Also see: Wormholes Could Be Hiding in Plain Sight

Journal Reference:
Valentin Deliyski, Galin Gyulchev, Petya Nedkova, and Stoytcho Yazadjiev, Polarized image of equatorial emission in horizonless spacetimes: Traversable wormholes, Phys. Rev. D, 106, 2022. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.106.104024


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Skwearl on Friday November 18, @03:50AM (10 children)

    by Skwearl (4314) on Friday November 18, @03:50AM (#1280292)

    Slow news day? What a bunch of silly nonsense.

    "If you were nearby, you would find out too late," Nedkova told the publication. "You'll get to know the difference when you either die or you pass through."
    You would never get near the event horizon of a black hole, as a functional human being, no matter what sci fi tropes would have you believe. The hard radiation would kill you long before the gravity distortion killed you.

    Black holes have long puzzled scientists, gobbling up matter and never letting it escape.
    well, that is a function of a black hole....why does it need to escape? Is it to satisfy some sense of order? The universe is vast, not short of matter, and in any time frame where humans are still around, the amount of matter 'trapped' in black holes is immaterial.

    I'm going for a walk outside, to look up at the stars and marvel.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by HiThere on Friday November 18, @04:08AM (6 children)

      by HiThere (866) on Friday November 18, @04:08AM (#1280296) Journal

      IIUC, a large enough black hole doesn't have a really strong edge to the gravity, unlike a smaller one. Of course, it would need to be both charged and rotating, but I think it's fairly safe to assume that all the big one are. The problem is the radiation. (So, no, you wouldn't be able to live through the transition, but it's because you can't take a bath in really high energy radiation, not because there's a cliff-edge of gravity, the way smaller black holes would have. IIUC (HA!) the sharpness of the transition is inversely proportional to the 4th power of the distance of the Schwarzschild limit from the center (because it's basically tidal stress).

      OTOH, this whole thing seems a bit unlikely unless they can identify some feature of the universe with the proposed white holes. Since they're talking about these things moving through time, I suppose you might be able to consider that they all lead back to the big bang. That could, I suppose, give you the universe as an infinite loop.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by EJ on Friday November 18, @05:36AM

        by EJ (2452) on Friday November 18, @05:36AM (#1280301)

        Why does it have to be in the past? Maybe the white hole from the very first ever black hole is trillions of years from now. Perhaps the first white hole won't form until the last black hole in the universe finally evaporates. Once the heat death of the universe occurs, perhaps the first white holes emerge to begin a new cycle.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mhajicek on Friday November 18, @07:19AM (4 children)

        by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 18, @07:19AM (#1280307)

        If the matter falling into a black hole comes out another, but flowing backwards in time, it would look the same as two normal black holes.

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 2, Disagree) by EJ on Friday November 18, @08:27AM (3 children)

          by EJ (2452) on Friday November 18, @08:27AM (#1280310)

          Shut up, Christopher Nolan.

          Your movie was crap.

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday November 18, @08:40AM (2 children)

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday November 18, @08:40AM (#1280312) Journal

            It will always be better than Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 3, Touché) by EJ on Friday November 18, @09:31AM (1 child)

              by EJ (2452) on Friday November 18, @09:31AM (#1280320)

              That's like saying, "Your cooking is better than dog food."

              • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @12:41AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @12:41AM (#1280424)

                It depends if you're a dog. Relativity, innit?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by melikamp on Friday November 18, @08:35AM (1 child)

      by melikamp (1886) on Friday November 18, @08:35AM (#1280311) Journal

      You would never get near the event horizon of a black hole, as a functional human being, no matter what sci fi tropes would have you believe.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermassive_black_hole#Description [wikipedia.org]

      A human can travel inside a supermassive black hole just fine. I volunteer Elon Musk. If it's a wormhole, then he can loop around spacetime and bring us back a complete report and some souvenirs.

      On a completely different note, is soylent IRC borken?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday November 19, @07:26AM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 19, @07:26AM (#1280469) Journal

        On a completely different note, is soylent IRC borken?

        Yes - all the servers are being rebuilt [soylentnews.org] with up-to-date software.

        We are currently on libera.chat: irc.libera,chat/6697 ##soylentnews

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Friday November 18, @06:26PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday November 18, @06:26PM (#1280377)

      >You would never get near the event horizon of a black hole, as a functional human being, no matter what sci fi tropes would have you believe.

      What hard radiation? The radiation comes primarily from the superheated accretion disc - which most black holes don't have. Those only exist while a black hole is actively consuming something. The rest comes from intense tidal forces near the event horizon tearing apart even atoms - and such large tidal forces are only present around small black holes - one large enough for you to survive the tidal forces at the event horizon definitely isn't going to be tearing apart any atoms. The bigger the black hole, the weaker the tidal forces. For supermassive black holes you'd barely notice them on something as small as a person.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Opportunist on Friday November 18, @08:46AM (2 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Friday November 18, @08:46AM (#1280315)

    In some other universe, far, far away? Because we did find a few black holes, but none of those elusive fountains of matter and radiation. And wouldn't you think something that spews out matter and glows like a bonfire would be easier to detect than something that is black enough to even swallow the light?

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Friday November 18, @06:39PM (1 child)

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday November 18, @06:39PM (#1280384)

      That's one of the obvious candidates - except that "far away" is probably meaningless in context. Distance is a property of the universe itself - seen from the outside a universe is likely a literal geometric point, with an infinite number capable of existing in a space of zero volume.

      In fact, such "bubble universes" are a possibility for pre-big-bang cosmological evolution - the theory being that such "bubbles" spawn a new universe with slightly different physical laws that the parent. There's a fair chance that the total energy of the universe is approximately zero (gravitational potential energy being inherently negative), so that a universe need only have some trigger-event to come into existence. Given enough time in such a scenario, eventually *some* of the universes spawned would have forces fine-tuned enough to be able to create atoms, planets, and even life.

      Otherwise, if a wormhole exit was in our universe, what would you expect it to look like? All the radiation, etc. that lets us spot black holes occurs in the accretion disc - the stuff that actually falls in would get spit out the other side would have already been cooling for however long it takes to pass through the wormhole - we'd see nothing more than a cloud of gas with no obvious source. Just one more nebula with no obvious remnant of a star that birthed it.

      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Friday November 18, @10:06PM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Friday November 18, @10:06PM (#1280411)

        So that other universe would be where ours drains to?

        In other words ... it would be our universal sewer system?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Snospar on Friday November 18, @08:52AM (2 children)

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 18, @08:52AM (#1280317)

    The journey of the Rocinante through the blackhole Cygnus X-1 is already well documented [wikipedia.org].

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday November 18, @05:26PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Friday November 18, @05:26PM (#1280366) Journal

      Right . . . I'm not saying there's no way wormholes could exist. I'm just saying, perhaps you shouldn't reference obvious fictional characters/ships when trying to convey anything other than sarcasm/entertainment.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Snospar on Friday November 18, @07:56PM

        by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 18, @07:56PM (#1280398)

        Sorry, couldn't resist. In my defence it is Friday and that is some very fine music. Who knows? Maybe someone has just been introduced to Rush.

  • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday November 18, @10:00AM

    by isostatic (365) on Friday November 18, @10:00AM (#1280323) Journal

    these black holes could be leading to "white holes,"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxWN8AhNER0 [youtube.com]

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by UncleSlacky on Friday November 18, @12:32PM

    by UncleSlacky (2859) on Friday November 18, @12:32PM (#1280332)

    This was proposed by Adrian Berry in his 1977 book "The Iron Sun: Crossing the Universe through Black Holes": https://archive.org/details/ironsun0000unse [archive.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, @05:08PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, @05:08PM (#1280363)

    But where does all of this matter go? Physicists have long toyed with the idea that these black holes could be leading to "white holes [space.com]," or wells that spew out streams of particles and radiation.

    Where's does it go? Nowhere. Its mass is still there, its charge is still there. Whatever kink in spacetime that a blackhole is, it is certainly there not whisked off into some fantasy world far, far away.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Friday November 18, @06:54PM (10 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday November 18, @06:54PM (#1280388)

      A reasonable conclusion, but one unsupported by evidence. And which, if true, will NEVER be supported by evidence because we can't see inside the event horizon.

      All we know for sure is that current theory says that the mass stays there.

      HOWEVER - we don't actually have any evidence to confirm that. To do so we'd need to observe a black hole closely enough to precisely measure its change of mass while consuming something substantial. All we can actually see though is brief snapshots of black holes consuming things far smaller than them, much too far away to be able to measure the actual mass.

      In fact, even if the apparent mass grows as expected, we still couldn't say with certainty that things that enter the black hole stay there. From the perspective of an outside observer, everything that falls into a black hole is "snapshotted" as it crosses the event horizon. Information, including gravity, cannot move outwards from anywhere within the event horizon. Even Hawking radiation actually originates outside the black hole, and causes mass-loss due to virtual particles with negative mass-energy being captured (as a gross oversimplification).

      So if stuff eventually "pops out" of a black hole somewhere else in the universe, there would be no way for that information to get back to the event horizon. The gravitational influence of the mass would effectively be duplicated.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by requerdanos on Friday November 18, @07:43PM (9 children)

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 18, @07:43PM (#1280397) Journal

        current theory says that the mass stays there.

        HOWEVER - we don't actually have any evidence to confirm that.

        One might argue that without the mass staying there, there would be no basis for the gravity by which the black hole itself is defined. The fact that there's enough gravity to identify something as a black hole is itself evidence that the mass is sitting at the center, I would argue.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Friday November 18, @07:57PM (8 children)

          by Immerman (3985) on Friday November 18, @07:57PM (#1280399)

          And as I pointed out - once that mass crosses the event horizon, it can no longer affect anything outside. NOTHING escapes the event horizon. Ever. If it's mass still had a gravitational effect on the outside universe then you'd still be able to detect the gravitational waves as it spiraled further inward, which is not possible. The mass could cease to exist moments later, and there's no way for the outside universe to ever know, even in theory.

          Functionally, a back hole begins and ends at the event horizon - what, if anything, is inside is unknowable from the outside.

          Of course that assumes black holes exist. Superstring theory for example posits "fuzzballs" instead - where the quantum wavefunctions form a composite structure just *slightly* larger than the event horizon, that's incapable of collapsing further, and would be indistinguishable except via close examination, since you'd still get near-infinite redshift at the surface rendering it "black" to all but the most sensitive of equipment.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, @11:54PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, @11:54PM (#1280419)

            Look, pal. You're the one fantasizing about weird physics. The mass is fucking there, it ain't gone anywhere. Charge too, and angular momentum. Whatever went in.... is still right there.

            • (Score: 2) by EJ on Saturday November 19, @02:32AM (1 child)

              by EJ (2452) on Saturday November 19, @02:32AM (#1280435)

              Except that you have no actual EVIDENCE that anything you're saying is true. All you have is someone else's speculation and theories.

              A black hole could be exactly what it sounds like: A literal HOLE in spacetime.

              Look at the water in your shower/tub when the plug is out at the drain. The water goes to the drain because it's a hole, just like how air flows toward a vacuum.

              It's a very reasonable theory that black holes can have such a strong effect on spacetime as to cause an actual tear in the "fabric" of the universe.

              You can't prove anything you said in your post.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @08:04PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @08:04PM (#1280539)

                It's true, if you ignore the mass, charge and angular momentum there's NOTHING THERE OMG!!111111

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @04:23AM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @04:23AM (#1280440)

              It gets weirder than that. As mass drops down a gravity well, you can extract energy. Inside an event horizon that energy cannot escape, E=MCC and all that, means that that energy has mass, and will also spiral down to the singularity at the center. Some dude a lot smarter than me calculated that by the time this process is complete the actual mass of the singularity is around 1054 times the mass of whatever formed the black hole. You just can't tell because the event horizon cloaks it.

              • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Saturday November 19, @05:52AM (3 children)

                by Immerman (3985) on Saturday November 19, @05:52AM (#1280452)

                That bit doesn't actually work though.

                It's true that your kinetic energy is increasing, but your gravitational potential energy is simultaneously decreasing in lockstep. Gravitational potential energy is always negative, and spirals towards infinite negative energy as the falling object spirals towards infinite positive kinetic energy, and their sum will always be exactly equal to the original mass of the object.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @06:30AM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 19, @06:30AM (#1280463)

                  Yes, the negative gravitational energy cancels out the mass gain, but while it's sitting on the singularity that mass is still there. It's just at the bottom of a hole deep enough to cancel it out.

                  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Saturday November 19, @03:01PM (1 child)

                    by Immerman (3985) on Saturday November 19, @03:01PM (#1280501)

                    Not if it were sitting though, only while still falling. And if there's truly a singularity at the center then I think it should be falling forever. Approaching infinite kinetic and negative potential energy with no silly 10^54 limitation.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @03:31AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, @03:31AM (#1280588)

                      Just from memory here, but I think the 1054 was from when the mass-energy had collapsed to the Planck length in diameter. He couldn't say what would happen after that.

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