The Existence of Black Holes Questioned In a Stumping New Theory

What if black holes are something completely different from what we currently believe?

There are more questions about black holes than there are answers. No matter our knowledge of physics, black holes remain a mystery.

And here we are. New research, reported by LiveScience, suggests that black holes are not exactly what we think they are. What if they are not the black gravitational monsters we think they are but instead, look like “vibrating balls of string”. If this is the case, we can call them by another name – fuzzballs.

In the last few decades, string theory has become the most promising candidate for the theory of gravity. It is, in fact, trying to provide a complete, indisputable, and permanent description of the fundamental structure of our universe. The basic idea behind string theory is this: all the basic particles of the Standard Model are in fact different manifestations of a single object – the string.

How is that possible? Usually one imagines an electron as a point without an internal structure. A point that can do nothing but moves. If the string theory turns out to be correct, then with an extremely powerful microscope we could see that the electron is not actually a point, but a miniature string.

The string is capable of more than just movement – it can vibrate in different ways. When it vibrates in a certain way, from a distance we see it as an electron. At different vibrations, we see it as a photon, a quark, etc. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this theory is that such a simple idea actually works. It is possible to derive the Standard Model from string theory.

It is important to mention that so far there is no direct experimental evidence that string theory is in itself a correct description of nature. This is probably due to the fact that the theory is still being developed decades later. We only know parts of it, and until we see it complete, we can’t say anything for sure.

So, with the help of string theory, we can imagine black holes as something far from disturbing. These are the so-called fuzzballs.

First-ever photograph of a black hole in the galaxy M87. Credit: EVENT HORIZON TELESCOPE COLLABORATION
First-ever photograph of a black hole in the galaxy M87. Credit: EVENT HORIZON TELESCOPE COLLABORATION

The author of the source article gave a very good example of how we can explain exactly what fuzzball would be. We can look at another space object that is of great interest to science – neutron stars. When a cosmic object does not have enough gravity to form in a black hole, then a neutron star is formed.

Neutrons, along with protons and electrons, are the particles of an atom. In Neutron stars, these atoms break down and only neutrons remain.

In the case of fuzzballs, the atom does not dissolve but instead, the particles simply don’t work together and cram together into fuzzballs.

Of course, we do not know exactly how a fuzzball would look like. Once again, it all comes down to mathematics but nobody has been able to find a solution at this point.

As we see in the laters journal published in arXiv, progress is being made and who knows, maybe experts will finally be able to find fuzzballs in the near future.

For now, there is no proof that there is a difference between a black hole and a fuzzball or if there is one – what it actually is. If we find such in the future, it would answer countless questions about the universe.

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Sources:

• Delbert, C. (2020, December 07). Black Holes May Not Be Black Holes at All. They May Actually Be Fuzzballs. Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a34873839/black-holes-fuzzballs-string-theory/

• Mayerson, D. (2020, October 27). Fuzzballs and Observations. Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.09736

• Sutter, P. (2020, December 02). Black holes may not exist, but fuzzballs might, wild theory suggests. Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/string-theory-fuzzballs-are-black-holes.html

• Wood, C. (2019, July 11). What Is String Theory? Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://www.space.com/17594-string-theory.html

Vladislav Tchakarov

Hello, my name is Vladislav and I am glad to have you here on Curiosmos. My experience as a freelance writer began in 2018 but I have been part of the Curiosmos family since mid-2020. As a history student, I have a strong passion for history and science, and the opportunity to research and write in this field on a daily basis is a dream come true.
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