The belief that venturing into a black hole will lead to instant death, with one’s body being torn to pieces, is one that has long pervaded the scientific community, but now a new study by a Berkeley University physicist has suggested that it may actually be possible to fall into a black hole and survive.
Even more intriguing, once inside the black hole, a person may find that their past has been completely obliterated and they could have the opportunity to live many different and strange futures.
While this may sound implausible, the new study’s author, Dr. Peter Hintz, insists that entering what he calls a “relatively benign” black hole would mean that all the known rules of the universe that we currently inhabit would cease to exist, which includes the idea that humans only have one future ahead of them that they can live out, according to the Metro.
The idea of living out a number of futures is one that has been postulated by scientists in the past, but physicists have previously said that “something catastrophic – typically a horrible death,” lurks inside these black holes, and humans would never have the opportunity to explore these different futures.
In 1969, Roger Penrose first proposed the notion that observing what goes on inside of black holes is a seemingly impossible task, an idea that has come to be known as the cosmic censorship hypothesis.
While many physicists, including Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking, have spent years debating this particular hypothesis, it has never received the formal title of a theory, as Live Science report.
— New Scientist (@newscientist) February 27, 2018
While quantum mechanics certainly appears to be a strange and wondrous realm at first glance, even most theoretical physicists believe that when it comes to the future, this future has been determined in advance. As Dr. Hintz explained, the field of quantum mechanics doesn’t necessarily stray too far from the more traditional approach to physics.
“With quantum mechanics, of course you don’t have determinism in the sense of predicting, say, exactly when an atom is going to decay. But you can, however, predict the probability distributions of when that atom is most likely going to decay and when it isn’t likely to decay.”
Determinism, however, disappears when it comes to a singularity and the laws of physics soon begin doing things that are normally impossible.
When it comes to black holes, Hintz and the co-authors of the recent study hinted that there may be certain situations where one does indeed survive a journey into a black hole.
“We study this universe where there is just one black hole, which would be a very late stage of the evolution of the universe where all of the other matter, like you and me, has decayed or disappeared into very distant singularities. It’s a black, bleak place.”
This particular black hole that is envisioned is one that has a powerful electromagnetic charge and the reason why physicists research these black holes that are charged is because they are a good method for learning more about spinning black holes. After all, charge “is a poor man’s angular momentum,” as Dr. Peter Hintz has said.
— Live Science (@LiveScience) February 28, 2018
In theory, at least, if a black hole was extremely charged it could even end up saving your life because the immense amount of energy upon arriving at the black hole would decay so quickly at the border that it could just completely fizzle out.
“If you don’t die when you cross the horizon, then determinism breaks down, because you can’t actually predict what’s going to happen afterwards.”
Dr. Hintz was quick to point out that theories about black holes are really just math questions, as no one will be traveling to a black hole anytime soon to test out these theories, according to the Daily Mail.
“No physicist is going to travel into a black hole and measure it. This is a math question. But from that point of view, this makes Einstein’s equations mathematically more interesting. This is a question one can really only study mathematically, but it has physical, almost philosophical implications, which makes it very cool.”
The new study on the theoretical survival of those traveling to black holes has been published in the January 17 edition of Physical Review Letters.