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Space Science

Could Black Holes Be Portals to Other Universes? 277

Posted by Zonk
from the oh-sliders-you've-taught-us-so-much dept.
David Shiga writes "Astronomers have identified many objects out there that they think are black holes. But could they be portals to other universes called wormholes, instead? According to a new study by a pair of physicists, we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. They have discovered that wormholes with the right shape would look identical to black holes from the outside. But while a trip into a black hole would mean certain death, a wormhole might spit you out into a parallel universe with its own stars and planets. Exotic effects from quantum physics might produce wormholes naturally from collapsing stars, one of the physicist says, and they might even be produced in future particle accelerator experiments."
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Could Black Holes Be Portals to Other Universes?

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  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:10PM (#18906777)

    In fact, theorists say one variety of wormhole wraps back onto itself, so that it leads not to another universe, but back to its own entrance.
    I'm expecting others to beat me to referencing The Black Hole [imdb.com] and Dr. Hans Reinhardt's line, "In, through, and beyond," or even Farscape [scifiquest.com] and Rigel's bored, "Wormhole. Normal space. Wormhole." So instead, and considering slashdot's current technical problems, how about something more obscure.

    Wasn't this an episode of the original The Tomorrow People [tv.com], except that transit time felt like it took much longer than it really did, whereas the reality of time dilation would likely be the reverse?
    • by IthnkImParanoid (410494) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:33PM (#18906999)

      Wasn't this an episode of the original The Tomorrow People, except that transit time felt like it took much longer than it really did, whereas the reality of time dilation would likely be the reverse?
      That also sounds like a Steven King short story called (IIRC) The Jaunt, where teleportation to Mars was nearly instantaneous for outside observers, but if you were awake when you traveled your consciousness perceived the transit time as nearly infinite.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        No, No, NO!

        It was a Steven King story, but Alfred Bester coined the word "Jaunte" in The Stars My Destination. Bester also developed the whole idea of almost-instantaneous space travel in the very same.

        I love SK, but the canon is still the canon, dude - credit where it's due.
    • by Pollardito (781263) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:33PM (#18907001)
      a wormhole that's a loop and leads back to itself reminds me more of European Vacation: "Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, and there's Parliament."
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sorry to split semantic hairs here...but we are geeks after all...

      The word "universe" logically means "everything." From Dictionary.reference.com [reference.com]:

      1. the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm.

      An etymological analysis reveals the word to be of Latin origin, the prefix "uni" meaning "one" and "verse" derived from the word for "to turn," implying something to the effect of "all things turned to one." (I also have a beef with the misuse of "uni" in such w
      • by illegalcortex (1007791) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:28PM (#18908111)
        You're not just splitting hairs, you're assuming that a word is simply a collection of roots (Latin or otherwise) and it has a fixed and unchanging meaning derived from them.

        That's really not the case with language. It's ESPECIALLY not the case with scientific language.

        You might also notice that what you posted isn't the definition of universe, it's a definition of universe. Another from the same page: a world or sphere in which something exists or prevails. This is much more applicable to our usage of universe to mean the current cosmology we understand.

        I know it makes some people who crave order and stability mad, but language is created, molded, abused and transformed by the speakers and writers with little remorse for whose feelings may be hurt.
      • by morcego (260031)

        Anyway, if it is possible to get to a "parallel universe" then that means that it exists. If it exists, then that means that it is already part of the universe. Therefore saying that there are many universes is a simple logical contradiction.


        Be sure that research the etymology of the word "atom" before you make statements like that, please.

        atom = "something that cannot be divided"
    • by rasputin465 (1032646) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:47PM (#18908275)
      Black holes are where god divided by zero
    • Rigel's bored, "Wormhole. Normal space. Wormhole." So instead, and considering slashdot's current technical problems, how about something more obscure.

      Ask and ye shall receive...

      Towns, rivers, palaces,
      all mixed up in an inextricable whirl.

      Over there, Miss Honeychurch,
      the villa of my dear friend Lady Laverstock,
      at present busy with a Fra Angelico definitive study.

      And, on your left - no, just there -
      Mr. Henry Burridge lives.

      - A Room With a View

      Merchant-Ivory fans will need no explaination, b

  • A question that was never asked before today!
  • by wmwilson01 (912533) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:13PM (#18906793) Homepage
    "Err... Captain, are you *sure* that's a wormhole and not just a blackhole?" "Shush! If there's one thing I learned at Starfleet Academy it's the difference between a wormhole and a
    • they do give Riker a command?
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:43PM (#18907107)
      "But while a trip into a black hole would mean certain death, a wormhole might spit you out into a parallel universe with its own stars and planets."

      Err.. something's gotta be wrong here. First of all, let's face it: you'll be dead never mind if it's a portal or not. The fact that my energy will somehow exit on the other end offers little comfort, knowing that to be alive, I need to also have my structure preserved.

      The idea about wormholes was introduced when experimenting (mathematically) what would the opposite of a black hole be, using just the known laws of physics and math.

      The thing is, most objects in the universe have their exact opposite version (the most trivial example being matter and antimatter), so scientists thought the same might apply to black holes. Lots of new object classes were prophesied this way.

      Thus, the concept of a while hole was born, which is not like a black hole at all: instead of only sucking in matter and energy (ignoring Hawking radiation for a moment), white holes can only emit matter and energy. Naturally, this posed the question, where is this matter coming from? And the obvious answer was: from a blackhole that's elsewhere. So a wormhole is in fact the whole mechanism where a black hole is tied to a white hole, and whatever falls in a black hole, comes out the white hole.

      So I don't know what those scientists are talking about, but either is the article written very poorly, or the term "wormhole" is being used totally inappropriately here.

      A "wormhole" can't look the same as "blackhole". It's like saying that a computer (the whole thing) may look to a keyboard (the input only). A wormhole isn't some sci-fi generic space warp where you put your ship to go to Degoba.

      And you're definitely dead either way, but if you're brave, up on the next shuttle and go try it, in case a wormhole is passing by.
      • You misunderstand (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Fallen Seraph (808728)
        Black -> White holes was an older theory. That's NOT the theory of wormholes. A Black/White hole system is one way. Matter enters a Black Hole and exits a White Hole. Both are continually connected to one another. Additionally, your history is off, because it wasn't just a thought experiment questioning an opposite. It was an attempt to answer the question "Where does the matter entering a black hole go?" The logical answer (physics aside) would have been a white hole.

        Wormhole theory is different. The
        • by kestasjk (933987)
          Getting your knowledge about black holes from a book by Stephen Hawking, the guy who recently changed his mind but still contradicts the overwhelming consensus on where information in a black hole goes without any proof, probably isn't the best idea.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Since we can't actually travel to any suspected blackhole/wormhole-entrance, we need the dudes at CERN to whip one up, then someone can step through and hopefully wind up farther away in our own universe.

      You first.
  • by bitRAKE (739786) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:14PM (#18906799) Homepage
    What would a blackhole going through a wormhole look like?

    (Or is that when the 503 error happens?)
  • by semifamous (231316) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:14PM (#18906803)
    I always knew that black holes were portals.
    I mean, isn't this basic science? You go in one side and you come out the other.

    It's kinda like Pac-Man, right?
  • by caywen (942955) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:15PM (#18906811)
    I simply never thought of black holes and wormholes that way. Going to another universe/dimension/time/etc - gosh that's something that I don't think even science fiction has considered. I always thought they were just kind of, um, holes or something.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by aled (228417)

      I always thought they were just kind of, um, holes or something.


      Tubes.
    • Staircase of no return. The adventure of a lifetime!

      $5 per ride* (conditions apply).

      Simply sign on the dotted line and enter.

      EULA / CONDITIONS OF ENTRY:

      We will not be held responsible for coincidental loss or damage due to black holes, worms or falls from heights. Darkness is expected during parts of the journey. By signing you agree to hand over all assets, including life insurance payments but excluding all debts to the vendors. A discount of $1 per ride applies is you bring a rich friend. Etc..etc

  • easy to test... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pedantic bore (740196) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:16PM (#18906825)
    ... just send some probes through what seem to be black holes, and then see if any of them come back.

    Oh, wait, there's another small problem to address first -- all the known black holes are a bajillion miles away. Maybe we should work on answering the question of how to get there before we start to obsess about what's on the other side. Or perhaps the multiverse is just teasing us, saying "Hey, there's a portal here to another universe -- want to see what's on the other side? Too bad you won't know for a few thousand years! Psych!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by mdahl (1092585)
      Getting there is no problem. Just have Ballmer fling a chair its way and wait a few seconds.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aled (228417)

      all the known black holes are a bajillion miles away.


      No problem, just find a wormhole to go there.
      • or collect loads of dense/heavy elements and compact it into an extremely small space and make your own black-hole...
    • An easier test, assuming you can turn back while travelling on a wormhole would be to send a probe into a black hole, and once it is past the event horizon, have it turn around and return. If it goes in and then out, it is a wormhole (since it has no event horizon). No need to wait a few million years.

      If it doesn't, it was a black hole and you've made some probe spaghetti instead.
  • Universal gravity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:17PM (#18906837)
    A chemistry teacher of mine in high school (early 90's) of mine had a big, long lecture about the universe and built it all up from subatomic particles and ended with the vastness of space. It was his Xmas gift for his classes every year, and we loved it. Well at least those with half a brain did.

    Anyway, his twist at the end resembled this article. He said that everything in the universe has gravity. Well, if everything has gravity, then the universe itself has a gravitational pull. Eventually the mass of the universe would be such that any light trying to escape it would be pulled back inside, which would make the universe appear to be black hole from anyone on the outside looking in...
    • Re:Universal gravity (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:36PM (#18907033)

      Well, if everything has gravity, then the universe itself has a gravitational pull. Eventually the mass of the universe would be such that any light trying to escape it would be pulled back inside, which would make the universe appear to be black hole from anyone on the outside looking in...
      It sounds like your teacher may have had the misconception that the universe is an expanding sphere, with stars and galaxies on the inside, and a void outside into which the matter expands.

      That's not how Big Bang cosmology works, however. In that theory, all of space is filled with matter, and space itself expands, carrying the matter with it. There is no "edge".

      Consequently, it doesn't make much sense to speak of light trying to "escape" the universe, since the universe has no boundary. That's why it's problematic to speak of the whole universe as a "black hole".

      For a related FAQ, see here [ucr.edu].
      • by glwtta (532858)
        In that theory, all of space is filled with matter, and space itself expands, carrying the matter with it. There is no "edge".

        Hang on, I thought it was matter/energy that carried space(-time) with it, not the other way around?
        • Hang on, I thought it was matter/energy that carried space(-time) with it, not the other way around?

          It's metaphorical: it is difficult to make that statement precise and physically meaningful. I phrased it that way to get away from the incorrect idea of the Big Bang as an explosion of a point of matter inside an otherwise empty space.

          Once can say that the expansion of the universe is due to the expansion of space, which means that the distances between spatial points change with time.

          As John A. Wheeler said, space tells matter how to move; matter tells space how to curve.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by radarsat1 (786772)

            Once can say that the expansion of the universe is due to the expansion of space, which means that the distances between spatial points change with time.

            Which is actually something that's been bothering me since I thought of it: I feel like there's a tendency in cosmology to forget that time is also a dimension, and that the big bang is an expansion not of SPACE, but of SPACE-TIME. So if space and time is expanding, how can it be something that is taking time? How can time be expanding along a timeline?

            • Re:Universal gravity (Score:5, Informative)

              by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:10PM (#18907967)

              Which is actually something that's been bothering me since I thought of it: I feel like there's a tendency in cosmology to forget that time is also a dimension, and that the big bang is an expansion not of SPACE, but of SPACE-TIME.
              No. "Expansion" refers to space, specifically an increase of spatial distances over time.

              However, it is true that spacetime is curved.

              So if space and time is expanding, how can it be something that is taking time? How can time be expanding along a timeline?
              That's one of many reasons why nobody speaks of "spacetime" expanding. It doesn't have a meaningful definition.

              This is an issue of semantics, not of physics.

              I get the feeling, in all these many multi-dimensional theories of our universe, that it's a mistake to think about "time" as being somehow distinct and "special" as a dimension.
              Geometrically, it is distinct and special. It's because the geometry of spacetime is described by a modified Pythagorean theorem (a Lorentzian metric), in which the sign of a (squared) timelike displacement is opposite to that of a spacelike displacement.

              Space and time are unified into spacetime, but that doesn't mean that space and time are the same thing. Rather, it means that what is "space" to one observer may be a mix of "space and time" to another. However, all observers agree on whether a direction is overall timelike or overall spacelike.

              But in that case, does time play some special role in the big bang?
              In general relativity, time isn't even defined at the Big Bang; the geometry of spacetime breaks down. In a replacement theory of quantum gravity, who knows ...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Brad1138 (590148) *
        It sounds like your teacher may have had the misconception that the universe is an expanding sphere, with stars and galaxies on the inside, and a void outside into which the matter expands.

        It sounds like you may not be familiar with this [appstate.edu].
      • Well, the way the grandparent put it, yes, it doesn't make much sense. But isn't it rather astonishing how similar the edge of our universe and the event horizon of a black hole look? time approaches zero, redshift approaches infinity...
        • There is a cosmological event horizon beyond which no events will be able to influence us, as they expand away from us so much that light from them will never reach us. This is quite different from the event horizon of a black hole, however. The location of a cosmological event horizon is observer-dependent: different observers can receive information from different places. The location of a black hole is observer independnt, because it is defined as a region from which light cannot escape to infinity:
        • by ceoyoyo (59147)
          I don't see any reason why our universe couldn't be a bubble of space expanding into some OTHER bubble of space.

          But our universe doesn't have sufficient density to have an event horizon like a black hole does. At least not using our laws of physics.
      • by Trogre (513942)
        all of space is filled with matter, and space itself expands... ...into what exactly?

        If space is not expanding into anything except itself, then there is no absolute frame of reference on which to determine whether or not it really is expanding.

      • Yes, but let's not confuse the visable universe with the Universe, Hawking's "Breif History of Time" includes a description of the visable universe as a black hole residing in the Universe. The funny thing about universe size black holes is that you could fall through the event horizon of one and not even notice.

        The "boundry" from our point of view is the edge of the visable universe, we can never get information from beyond that distance in any direction. We also don't know what happenes to spacetime (o
  • These must be special wormholes. Typical wormholes, if they existed, would create a shortcut in space-time within the same universe. Or maybe these hypothetical constructs are not wormholes, but something else?
    • by glwtta (532858)
      If years of watching sci-fi TV shows has taught me anything, it's a that a wormhole is a convenient plot device able to accomplish absolutely anything. They are rather like the deflector array polarity in that way.

      Clearly these guys are drawing on the same source material in their "science".
  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:23PM (#18906877) Homepage
    Well, I'm no physicist, but it seems reasonable to me to assume that if the formation of black holes can rip through to another universe, or perhaps another part of a curved universe, then an event would take place on the other side: the formation of a matching wormhole mouth.

    We have to assume that if blackholes can form in our universe, then they can form in the "other" universe. So we would be seeing the spontaneous formation of black holes occurring here that are the result of collapsing stars on the other side.

    So my question is, what does this event look like from the perspective of the other side, and have we observed it happening here?
    • by radarsat1 (786772) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:30PM (#18906973) Homepage
      An additional question comes to mind: If black holes have an event horizon beyond which no matter can return, and there is a wormhole with a black hole on each side, then if you went into the black hole and try to get out the other side, you'd find that you're behind the other black hole's event horizon and are unable to escape. So... you'd be in a tunnel from which there is no escape. So... you'd stick in a wormhole... which doesn't seem all that different from a black hole... what was the point of this thought experiment again?

      Perhaps wormholes just don't exist then.

      I think the thing that differentiates worm holes from black holes is that they DON'T shrink to a singularity, but instead attach to a hole on the other side of the universe through a tunnel that has a finite radius. So they're not the same thing... the difference between having a singularity and NOT having a singularity is pretty staggering. Is the point of the article just trying to say that wormholes have an event horizon?
      • There is a white hole on the other side which repels matter.

        No, I'm not trying to pull a Red Dwarf joke on you, that's actually what it's called. [wikipedia.org] :)
    • by Cylix (55374)
      The opposite of a black hole...

      A sun!

      That's right folks, traveling into the black hole means you will undoubtedly be used a fuel to warm the bodies of some lovely 3 breasted alien hotties.

      (Yeah, my theories have no basis in this world...)
    • by B3ryllium (571199)
      Well duh ... a WHITE hole! :)

      As to whether we have observed it, who knows. Maybe some celestial phenomenon has been mistaken for something it isn't, instead of being seen as a gateway from another universe. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      We have to assume that if blackholes can form in our universe, then they can form in the "other" universe.

      Let's just be clear that without more details, the claim that wormholes open in some "other" universe appear quite random. The original theory of wormholes doesn't claim any other universes, just different points in the same (and only) mother universe we know.

      There are two types of "other" universes currently science theorizes about: parallel universes as found in quantum theory (all possibilities of a
      • Let's just be clear that without more details, the claim that wormholes open in some "other" universe appear quite random. The original theory of wormholes doesn't claim any other universes, just different points in the same (and only) mother universe we know.

        This isn't true. Wormhole solutions to the Einstein equations are always based upon existing highly symmetric black hole solutions. Take, for example, the standard Schwarzschild solution. If you're familiar with, say, the Penrose diagram for the S

    • by FridayBob (619244)
      One possibility is that you'd get a white hole [wikipedia.org] on the other side -- something that would be spew out the same matter that fell into the black hole on the other side. However, astronomers have never seen anything like this in our universe. It seems unlikely.

      Another theory [wikipedia.org] is that the Big Bang itself is an example of a white hole, which would lead to the possibility that the formation of every black hole gives birth to a new universe, separate from its parent universe. In that case, it may be that the incr
  • The problem is how would we test such a theory? Do we throw a probe into a black hole and wait to see if it returns? (Isn't time ment to pretty much stop at some point in a black hole?)

    I'm all for theories and such, but how the hell do we test this?
  • by atari2600 (545988) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:27PM (#18906943)
    You know, the really really bad guys. Give them a ship with food, guns and other building blocks for "civilization". If they make it, well we win. If they don't, well too bad but that relieves the load on prisons. What? It worked for Australia didn't it? Ok laugh now - that was supposed to be funny.

    Hmmm, come to think about it; not a bad idea at all.
  • But while a trip into a black hole would mean certain death, a wormhole might spit you out into a parallel universe with its own stars and planets.


    Yeah, after killing your smashed atoms would travel to another universe.
  • by AbsoluteXyro (1048620) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:39PM (#18907067)
    If this were true... Shouldn't we see some black holes spitting out extradimensional spaghetti noodles? [wikipedia.org]
  • by Deadstick (535032) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:39PM (#18907077)
    But while a trip into a black hole would mean certain death, a wormhole might spit you out into a parallel universe

    ...dead.

    rj

    • given the time distortion, it might even make you pre-dead
    • by moochfish (822730)

      But while a trip into a black hole would mean certain death, a wormhole might spit you out into a parallel universe ...dead.
      ...compressed 100000:1 and then sucked back into the wormhole.
    • More than that, you'll be probably be turned into a convenient stream of high energy particles.
  • The paper (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:39PM (#18907079)
    New Scientist has a link to the paper, which is small and off to the side and easily overlooked (and does not make clear that the whole paper can be accessed, not just the abstract). The paper is here [arxiv.org] for anyone who may have missed it.
  • Too exotic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:43PM (#18907109)
    Who needs a multi-verse explaination when it suffices to explain a blackhole as vast swaths of time/space condensed to an ultra-hyperfine, darn-near-singular point? That's what I had always thought they were, anyways.

    Who knows, maybe a black hole is just an area approaching infinity, shrinking all that comes to the area with it. Why not? And Hawking's Radiation naturally permeates all of the universe but remains unobservable as it's particles are so large that it would fit many solar systems in it's space, but shrinks down at a black hole to a (weakly) observable radiation. It's not as if something that large would be identifiable; it would be discounted to an observation of the basic state of the universe. Our universe is only our observable universe; all this multi-verse and worm-hole stuff isn't any more real science than my silly-sized particle, just imaginative speculation.
  • toilets are in fact, gateways to other people's homes? perhaps someone could make a pretty picture to make this argument more plausible.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      Well, actually they are. You've got to be pretty small to fit down one though, and you have to be able to swim upstream.
  • No event horizon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday April 27, 2007 @06:56PM (#18907259)
    The article claims, that unlike a black hole, a "wormhole" (in the sense they explain it) has no event horizon. If it has no event horizon, it means light can escape it.

    So it wouldn't look like a black hole AT ALL. I call bullshit on the whole article.
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Yes, a big deal of what defines a black hole is its event horizon, so this is about something completely different, and it's of course speculation at that without a shred of established theories pointing in this direction. :-)
    • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:32PM (#18908139)

      So it wouldn't look like a black hole AT ALL. I call bullshit on the whole article.
      I think you may want to take a more informed look at their claims before making such strong statements.

      The authors propose a wormhole constructed such that light takes so long to escape from its mouth, it's effectively indistinguishable from a black hole, because nobody can realistically wait long enough to see anything come out of it.

      They write,

      An immediate consequence of the metric (2.1) is that time in the throat is extremely slow from the point of view of a distant observer. Indeed, they are related by lambda, [...] The throat thus mimics what happens at the event horizon of a black hole where time is "frozen" [we recall that the old name (especially in Russia) for a black hole was a "frozen star"]. The only difference from an actual horizon is that time does not completely stop in the throat: if an observer makes observations during a time of order GM/lambda he or she will resolve the processes happening in the throat and thus be able to distinguish a wormhole from a black hole. Reciprocally, this preliminary remark suggests that if an observer only looks at a wormhole during a finite time he or she might not be able to distinguish it from a black hole. We shall see below, in several examples, that this is indeed the case, even for phenomena that are usually considered as characteristically linked to the presence of an horizon (such as no-hair properties, or dissipative properties). However, we shall see that the observing time span needed to distinguish a wormhole from a black hole is not GM/lambda, as suggested by the above naive argument, but rather GM/ln(1/lambda).
  • We could (Score:2, Troll)

    by Associate (317603)
    throw lawyers in and listen for the sucking sound.
    • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:11PM (#18907979)
      Bad idea. I fear the consequences of allowing the two most dense entities in the universe to cross paths:

      Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
      • by Bake (2609)
        Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

        That's OK, I've had a good run.
      • by g1zmo (315166)

        Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

        Or, you could just drop some acid, eat a 'shroom, and do a whippit to get the same idea.

  • So how might you test this theory? You could find some people willing to take the plunge and go into a suspected wormhole. However, if turned out to be a black hole they would certainly die and not be able to report showing up in another universe (or somewhere else is the same universe). However, if it did indeed work and the were instantly teleported to another place, how long could we wait for them to return with the good news before marking it as a dud, a blackhole???

    Probably a slow trial and error proce
  • that can take you to far off places. Or slow down time on the other side of the star gate. Some one call the SGC to test them.
  • String Theory (Score:3, Informative)

    by kmac06 (608921) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:40PM (#18907677)
    This sounds like it's based on string theory. String theory has absolutely no evidence that it is correct--it just sometimes appears to describe some phenomena better than quantum mechanics or general relativity. I think of it more as a interesting mathematical construct rather than anything like a physical theory.
    • by bangzilla (534214)
      Well gee - there is no evidence of God, and yet a whole bunch of people believe....from this what do we derive....?
    • Re:String Theory (Score:5, Informative)

      by davidoff404 (764733) on Friday April 27, 2007 @09:40PM (#18908623)
      This isn't based on string theory at all. If you read the actual paper [arxiv.org] you'll see right in the first section that it's based on a classical solution to the field equations to general relativity. More specifically, this classical solution is used to motivate the essential structure that the worm hole should have while later on in the paper they appeal to some very standard quantum field theory to imply that the weak-field Hawking radiation obvserved from this classical solution should appear essentially identical to that seen in corresponding black hole solutions to Einstein's field equations. The paper is reasonably interesting but, given that it completely ignores boundary conditions at (spatial) infinity and that it makes no mention of the fact that this solution presumably violates the positive mass theorem, I'm completely underwhelmed by it.

      I'm as sceptical about string theory as anybody, particularly given that it's the area in which I actually work, but this particular paper is based purely on classical general relativity and quantum field theory with the Poincare group as a symmetry group.
  • by JesseL (107722) on Friday April 27, 2007 @07:47PM (#18907747) Homepage Journal
    It depends on the size of the black hole. Small ones will have sharper gravitational gradients that will result in tidal forces that could inflict serious entropy on you, but a large enough black hole could have a surface gravity less than earth and much less significant tidal forces.
  • From what I understand, a black hole compresses all mass into a singularity (mathematically speaking of course), surely this means death. But what about the event horizon? Say I took a nose dive into a Black Hole, wouldn't it in theory take me an eternity to actually get to the point of my body collapsing into the singularity itself. And wouldn that mean I would be traveling in space and time itself? Since from what I understand, and I am clearly no astrophysicist, time is warped around the event horizon an
  • This is old news - how long has this been theory for? and somebody reads Wikipedia and goes "Oh hey this is a ground-breakingly awesome discovery!" I mean, c'mon, I thought everybody that was even remotely interested had heard of these theories already (seriously)?

    Not just with this summary, but it seems loads of submissions are like this anymore (seems that way to me anyway).
  • by zymano (581466) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:10PM (#18907965)
    The black hole is either two things to me. One it is a giant particle unknown to physics. Maybe something equivalent to the early universe particles. I heard there were alot microblackholes then. Not sure on that. The other alternative to me is a microgalaxy where space is actually condensed but still exist. Yeah,strange. Definitely good for science fiction and better than the dead nothing superparticle.
  • Hope they got a good firewall when they start creating these holes in the lab. Nothing like tunnelling two systems and security hardening.
  • More like: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cadallin (863437) on Friday April 27, 2007 @08:30PM (#18908131)
    From the Somebody-started-reading-50's-pulp-sci-fi Dept.

    Christ, how is THIS news? People have been speculating about this kind of thing since the theorization of Black Holes. Carl Sagan talks about in one of the more trippy, pot induced segments of 1980's Cosmos!

    I think I'm getting too damn old. The entire internet is looking like a dupe to me.

  • wait, i don't understand

    [takes more drugs]

    oh, ok, this makes a lot of sense now
    • What are you taking?

      I almost am missing DXM. The blood sugar drop sucks, but realizing quite clearly that the universe is a joke is worth it.
  • I would would mod this whole submission -1 Asinine.
  • ...Chemistry before it was chemistry as we know it today. But like pre-alchemy potions....guess work, trial and error, etc..

    Somehow I think understanding gravity better will lead to flushing out the guesswork theories on such things as black holes and worm holes to other universes...
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday April 27, 2007 @10:47PM (#18909043)
    Rigel's bored, "Wormhole. Normal space. Wormhole." So instead, and considering slashdot's current technical problems, how about something more obscure.

    Ask and ye shall receive...

    Towns, rivers, palaces,
    all mixed up in an inextricable whirl.

    Over there, Miss Honeychurch,
    the villa of my dear friend Lady Laverstock,
    at present busy with a Fra Angelico definitive study.

    And, on your left - no, just there -
    Mr. Henry Burridge lives.

    - A Room With a View

    Merchant-Ivory fans will need no explaination, but in case the relevance isn't obvious, the scene is an open carriage ride through the country with Mr. Emerson showing the sights to Miss Honeychurch, "...and on your left..."
  • by cheros (223479) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @06:11AM (#18910589)
    If a black hole could port stuff from our Universe elsewhere there's really no argument to stop the reverse being true either.

    This would, however, mean that the laws about preserving mass, energy etc. must have a bigger scope, or those holes could cause quite a bit of an imbalance. Or maybe there's always an opposite flow somewhere else, a bit like communicating vessels but in multiple dimensions..

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, I got a parking ticket :-/

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