An intriguing new study suggests that black holes may actually not have a massive ring of fire that devours everything it comes into contact with. In fact, according to fresh data, these black holes may behave similarly to giant balls of string, with the theory put forward that they slowly collect “fuzz” as objects continue to get sucked into them.
According to the Daily Mail, the scientists who conducted the latest research believe that the black hole’s fuzzy surface may move to make contact with objects even before they hit the deepest and hottest regions of the black hole, as Ohio State physicist Samir Mathur explained.
“The probability of the electron hitting a photon from the radiation and burning up is negligible, dropping even further if one considers larger black holes known to exist in space. What we’ve shown in this new study is a flaw in the firewall argument.”
In their new study, Ohio State scientists looked at what may happen if an electron was suddenly thrust into a black whole which also had the same mass as that of our sun. After analyzing their data, it was determined that the firewall theory simply would not work in this equation, as Mathur noted.
“The question is ‘Where does the black hole grab you?’ We think that as a person approaches the horizon, the fuzzball surface grows to meet it before it has a chance to reach the hottest part of the radiation, and this is a crucial finding in this new physics paper that invalidates the firewall argument.”
It is Mathur’s belief that black holes may be much more complicated than accounted for, and that while the firewall theory certainly seems plausible, the ring of fiery theory is just that, and only string theory could truly account for what happens when an object enters the horizon of a black hole.
“Once a person falling into the black hole is tangled up in strings, there’s no easy way to decide what he will feel. The firewall argument had seemed like a quick way to prove that something falling through the horizon burns up. But we now see that there cannot be any such quick argument; what happens can only be decided by detailed calculations in string theory.”
The new study which suggests that black holes may not have a ring of fire has been published in the Journal of High Energy Physics.