According to the data obtained, black holes are actually giant fluffy clumps, and not “tunnels”, as previously thought.
The study, by Ohio State University physicists, should put an end to controversy about Stephen Hawking’s famous information paradox, which suggested that any data that enters a black hole can never leave it. This conclusion was consistent with the laws of thermodynamics, but contradicted the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics.
“We know from string theory that the entire mass of a black hole is not pulled into the center. The black hole tries to compress everything to a point, but then the particles are pulled into these strings, and they, in turn, begin to stretch and expand, turning the hole into a fluffy ball, ”said Samir Mathur, lead author of the study and professor of physics.
Mathur published a study back in 2004 suggesting that black holes are like very large and dirty balls of yarn that get bigger and dirtier as more objects are sucked into them.
“The larger the black hole, the more energy goes inside, and the bigger the fluffy ball becomes,” said Mathur.
A 2004 study showed that string theory — a physical theory that says all particles in the universe are made up of tiny, vibrating strings — could be the solution to Hawking’s paradox. With such a structure of a fluffy lump, the hole radiates like any normal body, and there is no mystery.
After Mathur’s 2004 study and other similar papers, “a lot of people thought the problem was solved.”
“But in fact, many scientists were worried that, from a physical point of view, the whole structure of the black hole has changed,” the physicist said.
Research in recent years has tried to reconcile Hawking’s findings with the old notion of a hole, according to which it can be thought of as “an empty space with all the mass in the center.” One theory, the “tunnel paradigm,” suggested that anything that enters a black hole could appear in another place, space, and time. But this hypothesis requires low-energy radiation from the black hole around its edges.
Mathur’s new study proves the so-called “effective small corrections theorem” showing that if black holes were really “tunnels”, then the radiation from their side would clearly look different from what astronomers see it.
“In each of these versions, proposed as part of the concept of a hole as a “tunnel,” we found physical inconsistencies. The “tunnel” hypothesis assumes a “hollow” black hole, the mass of which is concentrated in the center. And the theorems we prove imply the impossibility of such a structure,” the scientist noted.