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April 01, 2005

Claim: Black Holes Don't, and Can't, Exist

I might have spent my formative years studying the basic physics that would allow me to comprehend this article. Instead, I spent that time learning how to craft "your mother's a whore" jokes.

Kids: seriously. Study up. Or else this bullshit is your future.

Anyway, one scientist says that what we term black holes are just stars that have converted to "dark energy":

Black holes are staples of science fiction and many think astronomers have observed them indirectly. But according to a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, these awesome breaches in space-time do not and indeed cannot exist.

Over the past few years, observations of the motions of galaxies have shown that some 70% the Universe seems to be composed of a strange 'dark energy' that is driving the Universe's accelerating expansion.

George Chapline thinks that the collapse of the massive stars, which was long believed to generate black holes, actually leads to the formation of stars that contain dark energy. "It's a near certainty that black holes don't exist," he claims.

...

[A]s long ago as 1975 quantum physicists argued that strange things do happen at an event horizon: matter governed by quantum laws becomes hypersensitive to slight disturbances. "The result was quickly forgotten," says Chapline, "because it didn't agree with the prediction of general relativity. But actually, it was absolutely correct."

This strange behaviour, he says, is the signature of a 'quantum phase transition' of space-time. Chapline argues that a star doesn't simply collapse to form a black hole; instead, the space-time inside it becomes filled with dark energy and this has some intriguing gravitational effects.

This is certainly all very intriguing and exciting even if I have no idea what the hell is going on.

Like the first time I had sex. Or, to be honest, the last time I had sex, too.

There's another thing I could have spent my younger years getting good at.


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posted by Ace at 01:53 AM

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