Do black holes turn in to white holes ? Image Credit: NASA / Alain Riazuelo
Black holes may eventually turn in to their opposite and spew out everything that they ever swallowed.
One of the most mysterious and destructive phenomena in the known universe, black holes are typically formed when a sufficiently massive star collapses to the point at which its gravitational pull is so great that nothing, not even light itself, can escape.
Exactly what happens to the matter that is swallowed up by a black hole has been a topic of debate among scientists for years, but now a new theory has been proposed suggesting that black holes may actually end their lives by transforming in to their polar opposite - a white hole - leading to everything that they ever consumed being spewed back out in to space.
The theory even suggests that this transformation takes place almost immediately after the black hole is formed, but due to time dilation an external observer will still see it as a black hole for several billion years. If this idea turns out to be correct then some of the universe's earliest black holes may actually be ready to pop by now, producing bursts of high-energy cosmic rays with the potential to be mistaken for supernova explosions.
"Understanding how information escapes from a black hole is the key question for the quantum mechanics of black holes, and possibly for quantum gravity itself," said physicist Steven Giddings.
Source: Nature.com | Comments (21)