White Is The New Black


There is a fascinating new article on the Nature website regarding blacks holes and their ultimate destiny.

The article reviews a recent paper by Carlo Rovelli and Hal Haggard of Aix-Marseilles University in France which suggests that shortly after the formation of a black hole (due to the collapse of a dying star whose corpse mass is greater than the Oppenheimer-Volkhoff limit), the black hole transforms, due to quantum gravitational constraints, into a white hole, or burst of light energy, thereby releasing all of its trapped information.

The reason we don’t see these transformations is that they occur to us as outside observers.  The incredible time dilation inside the black hole, due to its very high (but not infinite) gravitational field, delays our observation of black to white hole transformations by billions or even trillions of years.

The authors suggest that with our Universe at an age of 13.8 billions years, we should just now be seeing these black-to-white transformations, called quantum bounces, for small black holes.  They suggest that very large gamma ray bursts currently associated with supernova explosions might just be, in some cases, these nascent transformations.

Author: Bob Mahoney

Physics teacher

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