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Posts tagged “quantum gravity

New theory tries to define where black holes don’t exist

black hole

The quintessential feature of a black hole is its “point of no return,” or what is more technically called its event horizon, yes just like the movie. When anything—a star, a particle, or wayward human—crosses this horizon, the black hole’s massive gravity pulls it in with such force that it is impossible to escape. At least, this is what happens in traditional black hole models based on general relativity. In general, the existence of this event horizon is responsible for most of the strange phenomena associated with black holes.



The Surprisingly Magnetic Black Hole


Black holes suck. Nothing can escape a black hole, not even light, which is why they are “black”. They are also an interesting bit of physics. Normally “classical” physics applies to things that are large enough to see [and even things that you can’t in some cases]. Conversely quantum mechanics deals with the “unseen”, atoms and their interactions. That is normally the end of the story, never shall the two meet.

In fact, because there is no clearly defined line between the quantum and the classical, there has been trouble blending the two theories. Which is unfortunate in that there are a few specific examples where the quantum world and the classical world collide, one of them just happens to be black holes.


Quantum Gravity Coming Soon… Maybe.


Don’t like quantum mechanics? Don’t worry Einstein didn’t either. In fact, not only did Einstein not like quantum mechanics, neither did his general theory of relativity. Which was okay… sort of. Quantum mechanics involves things that are really small, while relativity dealt with things that are really large and never the two shall meet, that is, until they do.

It’s not Einsteins fault that the two theories don’t play well together. They are both mathematical formulas, there is no malice involved. Einsteins world was beautiful and solid, he wanted to use math to form a world made of granite, smooth, shiny and perfect. Quantum mechanics on the other hand is uncertain, that is a fundamental principle, it’s more like wood, it’s not pretty, rough and textured.