A scientist has recently stated that black holes might not even be a thing – physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton explained with the help of mathematical calculations that black holes cannot so much as come into existence since there is no such thing as singularities.
Science has the knack of bringing in more and more questions as it seems to answer some of them. While it attempts to dig into life mysteries in order to offer plausible explanations, it often has to review some of its previous theories – in the light of new knowledge backed up by evidence, it has but to bow to the facts, and change what has hitherto been mistakes or misinterpretations due to faults in calculations or lack of proof. As science demonstrates the superior faculty of reason of man, it also shows the limits of the human minds at the same time. So many theories about so many topics thus have had to be revisited in the light of new evidence.
One such volatile subject that has fascinated scientists for decades now involves the black hole – so dark and black that even light does not escape. Physicists have studied black holes tremendously. Now, a scientist has suggested that black holes might not even exist. Uh-oh.
Laura Mersini-Houghton, a physics professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill, has put forward the claim that black holes cannot so much as exist – she backed her statement by mathematical calculations to prove her point.She herself is amazed by the results of her study. “I’m still not over the shock,” said Mersini-Houghton. “We’ve been studying this problem for a more than 50 years and this solution gives us a lot to think about.”
The theory of gravity of Einstein hints at the formation of black holes. However, according to a fundamental law of quantum, the disappearance of any information from the universe is not possible; yet, this is what is supposed to happen in a black hole. A black hole is considered to come into being as a huge star succumbs to its own gravitational force, and collapses into a single point in space called a singularity. Being sucked into a black hole includes a point at which there is no escape because its gravitational pull is too strong for any to resist. The two contradictory theories – that black holes suck things into oblivion and the other one that says no information can disappear – have been pushing scientists to attempt to reconcile between them, but to no avail.
Stephen Hawking tried to show that black holes emit radiation. Mersini-Houghton has, however, demonstrated something else: while she agrees with the former than a star collapses under its own gravity and gives off radiation, she also added that when producing this radiation, the star also gives away mass. She explains that as the star shrinks, it does not have the density to turn into a black hole anymore, such that the dying star explodes before a black hole can even be formed; no such thing as singularity. So, according to her work, it seems that black holes have never even existed.
If this were true, many other fundamental beliefs of scientists would be questioned. For instance, many are of the opinion that the universe came from a singularity that expanded with the Big Bang. If singularities themselves do no exist, the concept of the Big Bang will have to be reevaluated completely, and whether it even happened would become a debate of another level itself.
Science is fact until another more substantiated fact comes forth. Maybe, it’s time for us to understand that while it might answer some of our questions, it also has certain limits, because the power of the human mind is not limitless.