Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Do space-time loops explain black holes?


I was at a baseball game Saturday night.  It caused me to reflect upon the universe.

Not merely because I was at the holiest of baseball holies, Wrigley Field.  Not only because the Cubs beat the Cardinals.   And not even because of the mathematical symmetry of it all; the forces of physics in play and the careful balance of the game.

I'm talking about the violent universe we inhabit.  Each crack of the bat made me consider how many asteroids smack into other stellar bodies.  When the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano launched a home run out of the park, I thought about planetary bodies knocked from orbit.  This is to say nothing, I thought, of the destructive power of black holes.  
The idea is based on the notion of "quantization," which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.Whilequantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized, discrete states, loop quantum gravity posits that space-time itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops. - See more at: http://www.space.com/21903-black-holes-explained-space-time-loops.html#sthash.Xn0P6fVj.dpuf

The idea is based on the notion of "quantization," which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.Whilequantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized, discrete states, loop quantum gravity posits that space-time itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops. - See more at: http://www.space.com/21903-black-holes-explained-space-time-loops.html#sthash.Xn0P6fVj.dpuf
By what a few of you out there might call fate, the following day I came across this story about theoretical physics attempting to understand what goes on within a black hole.  Obviously no one knows for certain, but the application of general theory does not jive with quantum mechanics in this case, creating a singularity of near infinite possibilities.  That's what we think, anyway.

Black holes are formed when a star expends its nuclear fuel and the core collapses under its own gravity.  This point becomes infinitely dense and its gravitational pull near absolute.  There is, however, a camp of astronomers who don't believe in singularities such as the one described.  Instead, they theorize that we do not have the proper equations to quantify what happens in a black hole.  A few scientists are attempting to get around this by applying quantum gravity.  Here's how Space.com describes quantum gravity:

"The idea is based upon the notion of 'quantization,' which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.  While quantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized discrete spaces, loop quantum gravity posits that the universe itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops."

Obviously my understanding of physics needs re-assessment since college (no, I won't tell you how long ago that was.)  Considering extreme astronomical situations, such as the moment of the Big Bang or the inner machinations of a supermassive black hole, within this new framework may yet yield workable answers. Where we once thought physics breaks down might be cases simply in need of new models.  This is an evolving field of study of course, so I'll let you know more as I read it...and (hopefully) come to understand it.

Right now, the science fiction writer in me is taking over.  We have long speculated that sufficiently advanced civilizations are probably capable of controlling their entire planet's orbit, gravity, etc.  They likely also are capable of manipulating their home star(s).  They may even be able to control their entire star system.  Might they not be able to control a black hole?

After all, we're thinking of doing it.  This article from BBC considers how we might one day create black holes in a laboratory (shades of David Brin's Earth?)  It's a scabarous undertaking and the benefits are unclear...other than the academic merits...but if we might do it, an advanced alien civilization probably had it figured out long ago.  So forget all your trite alien invasion memes.  If they really wanted us gone, they might hurl a black hole at us like left-fielder throwing to second.

Baseball and stargazing.  Some combination.


The idea is based on the notion of "quantization," which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.Whilequantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized, discrete states, loop quantum gravity posits that space-time itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops. - See more at: http://www.space.com/21903-black-holes-explained-space-time-loops.html#sthash.Xn0P6fVj.dpuf
The idea is based on the notion of "quantization," which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.Whilequantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized, discrete states, loop quantum gravity posits that space-time itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops. - See more at: http://www.space.com/21903-black-holes-explained-space-time-loops.html#sthash.Xn0P6fVj.dpuf
The idea is based on the notion of "quantization," which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.Whilequantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized, discrete states, loop quantum gravity posits that space-time itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops. - See more at: http://www.space.com/21903-black-holes-explained-space-time-loops.html#sthash.Xn0P6fVj.dpu
The idea is based on the notion of "quantization," which breaks an entity up into discrete pieces.Whilequantum mechanics says atoms exist in quantized, discrete states, loop quantum gravity posits that space-time itself is made of quantized, discrete bits, in the form of tiny, one-dimensional loops. - See more at: http://www.space.com/21903-black-holes-explained-space-time-loops.html#sthash.Xn0P6fVj.dp
Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

3 comments:

  1. I've heard that there are black stars whipping through space. If those theories are true, maybe some world set them in motion for a reason.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder if "black stars" might just be more examples of dark matter. Nevertheless, your idea is an intriguing one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. On Facebook, Bernard Sell said: "So THAT'S what you were thinking about that whole time!"

    Indeed :)

    ReplyDelete