Thursday, November 08, 2007

Black holes may harbour their own universes

When matter gets swallowed by a black hole, it could fall into another universe contained inside the black hole, or get trapped inside a wormhole-like connection to a second black hole, a new study suggests.
What's inside a black hole is one of the biggest mysteries in physics. The theory that predicted black holes in the first place – general relativity – says that all the matter inside them gets squashed into a central point of infinite density called a singularity. But then, "things break down mathematically", says Christian Böhmer of University College London, in the UK. "We would like to see the singularity removed."
Many researchers believe that some kind of new, overarching theory that unites gravity and quantum effects will resolve the problem. String theory is the most popular of these alternatives.
But Böhmer and colleague Kevin Vandersloot of the University of Portsmouth in the UK use a rival approach called loop quantum gravity, which defines space-time as a network of abstract links that connect tiny chunks of space.
Loop quantum gravity has been used before to tackle the singularity that would seem to have occurred at the origin of our universe. It suggests that instead of a big bang, an earlier universe could have collapsed

more... Mason Inman
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