A team of UK-based scientists from the University of Cambridge and Queen Mary University of London have successfully simulated a five-dimensional black hole with the help of supercomputers, reported the Huffington Post. If real, the simulated black hole would be so powerful it could break down the rules that govern the theory of general relativity itself.The five-dimensional black hole model is shaped much like a ring in an effort to discover what might occur if the conventional structure of a black hole was removed. At present, the center point of a black hole is thought to be a "singularity." In short, this is a place where gravity is so intense that it destroys our general theories of time, space, and reality, but the event horizon is believed to prevent anything that occurs inside the singularity from escaping.
The film Interstellar has a scene that depicts how a black hole may appear from the outside looking in, with the event horizon actually bending light.According to the Huffington Post, the event horizon also prevents us from perceiving anything that enters it.
"They wanted to find a way to remove the event horizon and instead have a naked singularity exist within our universe and the only way to do that, was by creating a ring."The ring is very thin and ultimately gives way to a series of "bulges" that are connected by strings, which become thinner in time until they eventually pinch off into a series of mini black holes, reported the Economic Times.
"This bizarrely shaped black hole could cause Einstein's theory of relativity, a foundation of modern physics, to break down."Still, this type of black hole could only potentially exist in a universe that has at least five dimensions, according to researchers. If this type of black hole were to form, it would lead to the appearance of a "naked singularity" that would cause the equations known to support the laws of general relativity to break down, explained the study's co-author Markus Kunesch, who works at the Cambridge Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP).
"As long as singularities stay hidden behind an event horizon, they do not cause trouble and general relativity holds – the 'cosmic censorship conjecture' says that this is always the case."According to The British Journal, ring-shaped black holes were first discovered by theoretical physicists as early as 2002, but the latest discovery in the UK marks the first time their specific dynamics have been successfully simulated.
"General relativity underpins our current understanding of gravity: everything from the estimation of the age of the stars in the universe, to the GPS signals we rely on to help us navigate, is based on Einstein's equations."General relativity also tells us that gravity is the effect of matter warping its surrounding space-time and, in the 100 years since it was first published, the theory has passed every test thrown at it with very few known limitations, the existence of singularities being one.
So, what if a singularity were to occur outside of an event horizon? According to theoretical physicists, it would become visible and would represent an object that has collapsed to an infinite density, prompting the known laws of physics to break down and causing a naked singularity – an occurrence that could actually exist in higher dimensions.
"In branches of theoretical physics such as string theory, the universe could be made up of as many as 11 dimensions."Since human beings can only naturally perceive what is happening in three dimensions, the existence of additional planes of existence can only be discovered through high energy experiments like what takes place at the Large Hadron Collider.
[Photo by Keystone/Getty Images]