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posted by martyb on Friday June 06 2014, @03:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the swirls-are-swell dept.

We started this month with a story about how Black Holes at Center of Galaxies Might Instead be Wormholes. Now, an article out on Phys.org proposes Gravitational Fields Around Black Holes Might Eddy and Swirl.

From the article:

The team decided to study fast-spinning black holes, because a fluid-dynamics description of such holes hints that the spacetime around them is less viscous than the spacetime around other kinds of black holes. Low viscosity increases the chance of turbulence -- think of the way water is more swirly than molasses.

The team also decided to study non-linear perturbations of the black holes. Gravitational systems are rarely analyzed at this level of detail, as the equations are fiendishly complex. But, knowing that turbulence is fundamentally non-linear, the team decided a non-linear perturbation analysis was exactly what was called for.

They were stunned when their analysis showed that spacetime did become turbulent.

There is a related article, also on Phys.org, spacetime could be like a very slippery superfluid which notes:

In this sense, general relativity would be the analogue to fluid hydrodynamics, which describes the behaviour of fluids at a macroscopic level but tells us nothing about the atoms/molecules that compose them. Likewise, according to some models, general relativity says nothing about the "atoms" that make up spacetime but describes the dynamics of spacetime as if it were a "classical" object. Spacetime would therefore be a phenomenon "emerging" from more fundamental constituents, just as water is what we perceive of the mass of H2O molecules that form it.

 
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by jcross on Friday June 06 2014, @05:01PM

    by jcross (4009) on Friday June 06 2014, @05:01PM (#52311)

    If you've read Steven Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science", this kind of phenomenon is very consistent with his model of the physical universe as an evolving network, where particles can be seen as being kind of like moving knots. That's kind of a crappy description of his idea, you'd have to read the book to get what I'm saying, and I really recommend doing that. It's the most worldview-shifting thing I've read in a long time.

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