A physicist from an Israeli university recently shared his research findings online, stating that he has found a way to create a man-made black hole inside a lab.
Jeff Steinhauer from the Technion University in Haifa, Israel posted on pre-press physics website arXiv.org his paper that talks about how he created and observed a black hole he made himself.
In the report, Steinhauer said he cooled helium to almost absolute zero, and then churned it up so fast that it created a barrier where sound could not pass. He then referred to it as a sound black hole.
The Times has also picked up the new research and reported that Steinhauer observed what happened when the artificial black hole was created.
— TechAcute.com (@TechAcuteCom) April 27, 2016
In the research, the phonons, which are the smallest energy units of sound, were able to “leak” out of the black hole, which means that it does not consume everything, nor let anything escape, as science has long been claiming.
Of the many people involved in this field, English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking would probably be the most interested in this development.
More than 40 years ago, Hawking made a bold claim that went against the current theory of the time – that black holes do not consume everything and allow several virtual particles to leak out.
This theory did not agree with Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the way gravity works in a black hole. Because there was no way a human can directly inspect a black hole and see for himself what really happens inside, Hawking’s theory was never proven.
In Hawking’s theory, he believes that the entire universe is filled with what he calls “virtual particles,” which, based on quantum mechanics, “blink” in and out of existence. Once these particles get too close to each other, they annihilate one another, except in a special instance – when they appear on either side of black hole’s event horizon.
Stephen Hawking’s Black Hole Theory Explained
According to Hawking, who is the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in Cambridge, this phenomenon leads to one virtual particle getting sucked in by the black hole, and one particle “radiates away into space.”
While this theory in itself poses no problems, there is one problematic factor that would soon come in.
If a virtual particle escapes from a black hole, taking energy away from it, then Hawking believes that the black hole would eventually disappear. When this happens, it will take with it all the information and mass of everything it has consumed.
In quantum mechanics and quantum theories, this phenomenon is not supported; hence, it is often called the “black hole information paradox.” This resulted in a standstill in the argument.
However, now that Steinhauer has reportedly been able to create his own black hole and observe how Hawking’s hypothesis takes place, this could finally give the English physicist a chance to win a Nobel Prize.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) April 25, 2016
While his theory has gotten a lot of support through the years, science’s biggest prize is not awarded unless there is “experimental proof” of a person’s theory or hypothesis.
Earlier this year, Hawking admitted that he may never actually see how Hawking radiation works in his lifetime, although he wanted to find out if the theory would be applicable in primordial gravitational waves.
“So I might get a Nobel prize after all,” said Hawking.
Meanwhile, scientists, physicists, and other experts immediately flocked to arXiv.org and read Steinhauer’s paper about his experiment.
Physicist Silke Weinfurtner from the University of Nottingham commended Steinhauer for his experiments, and said that he has done an “amazing job.” However, she said that some of Jeff’s claims are still open for debate.
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