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Forum » Main » Science, Astronomy, Nature » Black Holes May Not Be Black. Or Even Holes
Black Holes May Not Be Black. Or Even Holes
ManuDate: Wednesday, 24-March-2021, 9:47 PM | Message # 1
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By Tim Childers
Mar 18, 2021

Their true nature could finally explain the origins of dark matter and fast radio bursts.

What if black holes, those all-consuming gravitational behemoths of the cosmos, aren’t actually black at all—or even holes, for that matter? Instead, a new theory suggests black holes may be dark stars with hearts of extremely dense, exotic matter. This could help explain one of the biggest mysteries of the universe: the origin and nature of dark matter.

Black holes are real-life examples of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity taken to the extreme. They’re places in the universe where enormously dense amounts of matter stretch the fabric of space and time to its limit, forming an infinitely deep gravitational well that not even light can escape—hence the “black hole” name.

At infinitely small singularities, the laws of physics break down. That’s when two seemingly opposing fields of physics—quantum mechanics (describing the super tiny) and general relativity (describing the very large)—come face to face with each other. By studying the nature of black holes, researchers hope to combine the two fields into a unified theory of quantum gravity.

The problem? The singularity appears to be physically impossible, because matter isn’t capable of collapsing into an infinitely small point.

Physicists have cleverly dodged this issue by inventing their own singularity-free black holes, which they call “dark stars”. These imaginative creations appear like black holes on the outside, but inside, they contain an extremely (but not infinitely) dense core of matter compressed to the tiniest possible scale, or a “Planck core”. It borrows its name from the incredibly small fundamental unit of measurement called the Planck length, which is on the order of 10^-35 meters, or roughly 100 trillion times smaller than a proton.

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