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Space Science

Did Some Black Holes Survive the Big Bang? 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-the-beginning dept.
astroengine writes "Could anything survive from one universe to the next, through a Big Crunch and resulting Big Bang? According to two researchers, a special class of pre-Big Bang black hole may have the ability to traverse the Big Bang singularity. The upshot is that there may be black holes that existed before the Big Bang knocking around in our modern universe. What's more, we might be able to detect them through the theorized gamma-ray burst produced when these pre-Big Bang black holes evaporate out of existence. But how would we distinguish between these black holes and the primordial black holes thought to be produced after the Big Bang? Well, that's just too confusing right now."
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Did Some Black Holes Survive the Big Bang?

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  • by Tim the Gecko (745081) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @10:55PM (#36031532)
    Pre-existing black holes aren't covered by the Universe's health insurance.
    • YOU LIE!
    • by sjames (1099)

      So you're saying that for contractual purposes, all black holes pre-existed the universe?

    • by uncanny (954868)
      So they go to a public galaxy and everyone else takes care of it!
    • That will really put a nail on the coffin of people saying that brute-forcing the most advanced forms of cryptography will require more processing time than the life expectancy of the universe.

      Now, all the NSA needs to do is to put their brute-force cluster inside a black hole and wait for it to survive for the next 10^n big-bang cycles !!!

  • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @10:59PM (#36031552) Journal

    So there may not be multiple big bangs. In which case their ability to survive is moot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Current theory relies on very limited information. http://xkcd.com/605/ [xkcd.com]
      • by slick7 (1703596)

        Current theory relies on very limited information. http://xkcd.com/605/ [xkcd.com]

        Limited how?

        By what theories? The indigenous peoples have many theories of the universe. The Mayans, Incas, Egyptians, Babylonians, Sumerians, and their intelligent progenitors have many more. The history of the future is defined by the theories that are ignored.

        How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions [fapit.net]? -RAH

        • By what theories? The indigenous peoples have many theories of the universe. The Mayans, Incas, Egyptians, Babylonians, Sumerians, and their intelligent progenitors have many more.

          Hate to be fussy, but careful with the use of theory. It's misinterpretation in this context is what people who believe in the supernatural cling to when discussing such things as the theory of evolution.

          Theory: a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural world. Theories have been typically tested repeatedly in many ways and have become widely accepted truth.

          Hypothesis: Testable and informed predictions with supporting facts. What is expected to happen du

        • Redshifting, the primary support behind the expanding universe theory, has only been known/studied for the past hundred years or so. At best, that gives us some hundred years of data. On a cosmological level, this is near insignificant. Based on the calculations of Einstein's field theory, we know that the acceleration outward has a positive second derivative, meaning that the acceleration is increasing (and not decreasing as previously thought). Why is not known (and so the expanding universe is an obs

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        anyone who uses xkcd as a "citation needed" is dumber then someone that believes that the universe is closed or open.
        It's a comic strip, not a scientific journal.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Expanding and accelerating. Perhaps the Big Bang didn't just start, but continues to this day. It just so happens that as each moment in time passes, the more warped and distorted the pace of time becomes the further you look back. That is to say, the pace of time is constantly moving forward as events take place. But from our perspective, it's constant. Can be a bit confusing, I know. Sorry.

    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @03:31AM (#36032774)
      Just because this universe expands forever, doesn't mean its parent did. Could just be this particular universe is the end of the line of its lineage. So I think the question is still quite relevant.
      • by colnago (91472)

        Yeah, this is a tough one, too. Since no evidence exists for alternative universes, either preceding or parallel, these things cannot be tested. Just because a parent universe could exist doesn't mean it did exist. The only evidence available is that the universe we live in is the only universe that does or has ever existed. So when ordering possibilities, the parent universe and a lineage of universes falls lower in likelihood than the current universe is the only one, ever.

        • Yeah, this is a tough one, too. Since no evidence exists for alternative universes, either preceding or parallel, these things cannot be tested. Just because a parent universe could exist doesn't mean it did exist. The only evidence available is that the universe we live in is the only universe that does or has ever existed.

          Well, that's something this experiment would be designed to answer, actually. If a black hole can - through exceedingly careful experimentation - be proven to predate the universe, that would be evidence there. Besides, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. It simply means that we don't know, because, absent the possibilities raised in the article, the notion of parallel universes doesn't appear to be testable.

          So when ordering possibilities, the parent universe and a lineage of universes falls lower in likelihood than the current universe is the only one, ever.

          By the same reasoning you provided above, you also have no evidence by which to handic

    • Actually, one current theory is that the universe does expand forever, but collision points between universes causes "big bangs" which sparks energy/matter into existence. The best explanation is two drum heads colliding at a single point, which would result in a "drum beat" of a bang, with the vibrations and ripples being the equivalent energy/matter.

      So, a pre-big bang black hole could be from a prior collision. It would be a "vibration" that never completely lost gravitational cohesiveness, which is the

      • by colnago (91472)

        This is a tough one. Theory is a strong word. It's not even a hypothesis as it simply can't be tested. No evidence exists. Multiverse seems to be more a postulation of a possibility, even if the idea sounds scientific enough to be a reality. I believe in realm of the possible, possibilities need to be ordered in terms of likeliness based on the evidence we have. So your disclaimer IANAS is appropriate. I appreciate your candor!

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Yeah, but didn't the Big Bang supposedly CREATE space and time in our universe? So how could anything be said to exist BEFORE the Big Bang?

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      And of course current theory is now fixed in stone for ever like the Ten Commandments. Not last year's or last decade's or last century's current theory, just the current current theory as of today.
  • We can't release a photo of this as it may incite other, more restive black holes into action.

  • ...season to season. They're signed for something like 7 seasons. Even though the show has gone down hill it still has it's moments.

    I think Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons are going to be just fine post Big Bang, but if you've heard Kaley Cuoco's rendition of "Somewhere over the rainbow", you'll realise that her career is headed for a big a black hole once the show ends

  • The universe is actually a multidimensional doughnut, and black holes act as drains. Matter goes in, and exits on the other side of the doughnut, to repeat the cycle.

    We just cant comprehend it because of the complexity of the multidimensionality of it all.

    • It's a nice image, but do you have any proof? What does such a multiverse actually predict that we can measure?
      • by lasinge (1009929)
        It sort of satisfies my curiousity of why there'd only be 3 apparent space dimensions if you will, and why only one time dimension which apparently only goes one way? Maybe we are in a special case of a much larger more multidimensional universe. Pure speculation of course, I admit that I have no more proof than the last guy, but it can't hurt to imagine.
      • wouldn't it suggest sudden ejections of matter or energy? almost like the Hawkins radiation emitted by black holes?
    • Or, all the black holes tie back to one dimension. A dimension that's the start of another big bang. Once all the matter has been sucked in, and then the black holes themselves consolidate...the dimensional walls collapse and...BOOM! The cycle of cosmic rebirth begins anew.

    • by aaronfaby (741318)
      Mmmm.. donut.....
  • Old old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:20PM (#36031656)

    Read A Brief History of Time. Dated 1988
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Brief_History_of_Time

    Or this guy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_M._Carroll#From_Eternity_To_Here

    Either way, this is OLD news

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The thing about science reporting is that the reporter gets an information dump along the lines of:
      1. Introduction to basic concepts
      2. Overview of research to date
      3. Novel result
      4. Possible implications of result

      The journalist then has to simplify it for "a general audience". #3 is very difficult to simplify, #2 is fairly difficult. #1 and #4 are easier to simplify. So after removing the "confusing bits" we have:
      1. Simple overview of field
      2. Brief mention of one previous result/theory
      4. Wild specu
    • That's the point. This is the oldest information of all.
  • by wisebabo (638845) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:25PM (#36031712) Journal

    So, if one model of the universe (currently out if favor) is correct that has it oscillating between big bangs and big crunches, would this be a way for sone super civilization to survive the end (big crunch) of the universe? The "Heechee" in Frederick Pohl's Gateway novels had them hiding out in black holes (though not for this reason). They were hiding out from another even more advanced race that had created the universe (which explained why the cosmological constant amongst other things was so finely tuned) and didn't want to be around when they came back to reclaim their "property".

    The Heechee had some way as well of getting OUT of these black holes (FTL travel?). Of course since the the latest models show the universe to be expending itself to smithereens even if you could hide out in a black hole, it is likely there would be literally nothing to come back to.

    By the way, does time stop completely below the event horizon? Might be another reason why hiding out in a black hole wouldn't be such a good idea.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      By the way, does time stop completely below the event horizon? Might be another reason why hiding out in a black hole wouldn't be such a good idea.

      Some say you eventually experience falling into it for eternity. If there really is a quantum unit of time and that's not merely a perceptual thing then you might be able to get stuck "forever". On the other hand, if there isn't, then you can decide any time to pop back out if you have the technology.

    • by caywen (942955)

      Maybe, but they'd never survive the Coming of the Great White Handkerchief

    • Survive the Big Crunch? Impossible. There is absolutely no way to survive a Big Crunch. [youtube.com]

      Great. Now I'm hungry.

    • By the way, does time stop completely below the event horizon? Might be another reason why hiding out in a black hole wouldn't be such a good idea.

      Amusingly, I just attended the last class before my final exam in general relativity, and all we talked about was the math behind black holes. Pretty interesting stuff, if only I could've understood all of it...

      It turns out that space and time actually switch inside a black hole. Your time vector becomes space-like and your spatial vectors become timelike. What does that mean? I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that there is no escape from hitting the singularity at the very middle of the black hol

      • Therefore, as you fall into a black hole, you will actually reach the event horizon in a finite amount of time (by your own watch), but a stationary observer from Earth watching you, will see everything slow down exponentially as you get closer to the event horizon. It slows down so much that they never actually see you hit the event horizon--it takes an infinite amount of Earth time for something to hit the event horizon.

        Which leads to the question "How can a black hole ever be observed to come into exis

        • That's simple, we never actually observer the black hole or it's event horizon. We can only observer the matter and energy that surround it.

          • > That's simple, we never actually observer the black hole or it's event horizon.

            That's not what I said. Let me try again. In order for a black hole to grow matter must cross the event horizon. However, it takes forever for matter to cross the horizon so all black holes must infinitesmally small (though some might be surrounded by millions of suns worth of matter that has almost crossed the horizon).

    • by bjorniac (836863)

      The problem with big bang/big crunch is that really what we're saying is the physical equivalent of "Here there be dragons". We simply don't know what physics looks like at the Planck scale yet. Big bang/crunch are what happens if we trust GR way into the regime where we expect quantum gravity effects to be strong.

      Now there are various ideas about how a collapsing universe can transition into an expanding one - conformal cyclic cosmology, loop quantum cosmology, etc etc, and certainly within at least one of

  • Could the supermassive black holes that likely exist in the centre of galaxies be these mutli-universe spanning black holes? If they survivied one big crunch, perhaps not allowing enough time for hawking evaporation, have they survived many universes?
  • that i can never tell the difference between cosmology and the ramblings of a stoner?

    • Because first you must get high to become one with the universe. Only then will it all start to make sense.

      • look at my hands... our hands, human hands... did you ever actually look at your hands before? no i mean, really LOOK at them?

      • by hedwards (940851)

        I really wish people would stop glorifying drug use like that. If you really want to get in touch with the universe there's better ways than that, ones which don't leave you brain damaged afterwards. Sure drugs can hit those spots of the brain that make you think you've met God, but seriously, is it really worth it when you consider the harm that a lot of those drugs do?

        • Its hardly glorifying it to associated with this fairy tale. But maybe you should try a bud or two sometime.

          Just say Perhaps.

        • by vegiVamp (518171)

          Like alcolhol, nicotine and caffeine, you mean?

          • Don't forget sugar. When abused, that's a real killer right up to chain-smoking. Have you not seen the obesity epidemic (and everything along with it) growing among developing nations? Forget developed, I'm talking DEVELOPING. Seriously, the Chinese are turning into little fatties in all the major cities with fast food (HFCS) and re-processed foods.

            I hate to say it. But if it wasn't for the Chinese, I wouldn't have curtailed my sugar intake. Those poor SOBs are like a slow moving train wreck happing before

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world." - Carl Sagan

          I really wish people would stop degrading the reputation of all drugs like you just did. Is it really worth being such a square, when you consider all the things you miss out on?

    • Where do you think Carl Sagan got most of his ideas?
    • [why is it] that i can never tell the difference between cosmology and the ramblings of a stoner?

      Because you haven't studied the field, so all you get are explanations meant for the layman?

      Seriously, if someone were to have shown you a page with differential equations back when the math you knew was limited to arithmetic would you be able to distinguish it from a page containing random symbols that looked math-like? Would you be able to tell which one represented something real and which one was BS? Well, the stoner ramblings is like the random page, and someone trained in physics and astronomy can t

      • not science

        nothing about it is testable

        therefore, string theory is indeed the ramblings of a stoner. a very intelligent, mathematical stoner, but completely useless to the realm of actual science nonetheless

        i don't understand much of the math in string theory, but i do know it is not testable. therefore, string theory is nothing but mental masturbation of the sort mildly stoned college students engage in. of no more value to us who are interested in actual scientific efforts

        • by geekoid (135745)

          "nothing about it is testable" - False. A common misconception it's hard to test, but some tests have been put forth.

          Even if it is 'just math' doesn't mean it has no value.

          Example:
          Special relativity - You might have heard of it.

          Wasn't testable, in fact many qualified people at the time thought it would never be testable. Yet here we are.

          • "it's hard to test, but some tests have been put forth"

            uh... really?

            name one

            and i mean a test for string theory itself, not tangential subject matter

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          String Theory is (somewhat) testable.
          People have gotten the idea that String Theory isn't testable because one of the predictions is supersymmetry. Supersymmetry isn't directly testable at the energies our particle accelerators can reach - indeed they fall many magnitudes of power short of producing collisions that would emit supersymmentric versions of familiar particles (no Snutrinos or Selectrons will come out of CERN or anything else we could build today, even if we made it our number one priority for t

        • by bjorniac (836863)

          String theory != cosmology. There's string cosmology, sure, examining the cosmological implications of string theory, but standard GR based cosmology has been tested - see WMAP, COBE, predictions of the cosmic microwave background.

          In fact, XCKD based their entire "It works bitches" http://xkcd.com/54/ [xkcd.com] on the predictions of standard cosmology.

      • "What's that sound?" :D

  • but maybe I got this wrong :)

  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @12:20AM (#36031960)
    and hold.

    <tight>"Like, man. Maybe our universe is only a little speck in so other universe?"</tight>

    Exhale.

    "Dude. Wouldn't it be funny if we like wrote that up as a paper or something?"

    Thus stands most cosmological theory.
  • ...
    One Hole to rule them all, One Hole to find them,
    One Hole to bring them all and in the blackness bind them
    Before the Big Bang where the Shadows lie.

  • I always thought that time was only created with the Big Bang - so how can there be a "before"?
    • by ledow (319597)

      Not a physicist but it wouldn't be too hard to guess:

      Time FOR YOU only exists in this universe. It doesn't mean that's the only "time" that's even existed. Or will ever exist. Yes, technically, you could have one "time" over there and one over here, or even one "before" another, etc. But you're tinkering in multi-dimensional physics of which almost all our knowledge and predictions are based on mathematics, not perception.

      Time is merely a dimension, like up/down, left/right. There are generally reckone

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Complicated.

      But the big Bang was not the start of everything. It's was an event.

      While counter intuitive, if time was removed, there would still be a 'before' and 'after'. hey may not happen in sequence.

  • 1) Could this explain how the symmetric particle soup go asymmetric, allowing "proper" particles, dust clouds, galaxies etc to form?

    2) If I had a lot of very large black holes, could they account for the missing anti-matter? If we assume a _large_ pre-existing universe, this would/might shift the problem from "where is it" to "it's really far away" due to distribution and "local" fluctuation.

    3) Assuming anti-matter has normal gravity, could we detect black holes made from anti-matter other than seeing them

  • by strack (1051390) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @08:17AM (#36033810)
    black holes go in, black holes go out, never a miscommunication.
  • The article is assuming that an universe existed before Big Bang. If that was the case it would be feasible to guess that the bang happened BEFORE every little mass (or massless) particle dropped into the black hole to explode. There is a reason to cause the big bang to happen (maybe a critical mass ?) and if I were to explode as the big bang I couldn't wait for every little particle, would You ?

    I have understood that big bang theories assume that before that there was no space or time. So no universe befor

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