[Paleopsych] Nature: Black holes 'do not exist'

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Tue Apr 12 19:51:53 UTC 2005

Black holes 'do not exist': These mysterious objects are dark-energy 
stars, physicist claims.
Published online: 31 March 2005

    [52]Philip Ball
    These mysterious objects are dark-energy stars, physicist claims.

    Black holes are staples of science fiction and many think astronomers
    have observed them indirectly. But according to a physicist at the
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, these awesome
    breaches in space-time do not and indeed cannot exist.
    Over the past few years, observations of the motions of galaxies have
    shown that some 70% the Universe seems to be composed of a strange
    'dark energy' that is driving the Universe's accelerating expansion.
    George Chapline thinks that the collapse of the massive stars, which
    was long believed to generate black holes, actually leads to the
    formation of stars that contain dark energy. "It's a near certainty
    that black holes don't exist," he claims.
    Black holes are one of the most celebrated predictions of Einstein's
    general theory of relativity, which explains gravity as the warping of
    space-time caused by massive objects. The theory suggests that a
    sufficiently massive star, when it dies, will collapse under its own
    gravity to a single point.
    But Einstein didn't believe in black holes, Chapline argues.
    "Unfortunately", he adds, "he couldn't articulate why." At the root of
    the problem is the other revolutionary theory of twentieth-century
    physics, which Einstein also helped to formulate: quantum mechanics.
    In general relativity, there is no such thing as a 'universal time'
    that makes clocks tick at the same rate everywhere. Instead, gravity
    makes clocks run at different rates in different places. But quantum
    mechanics, which describes physical phenomena at infinitesimally small
    scales, is meaningful only if time is universal; if not, its equations
    make no sense.
    This problem is particularly pressing at the boundary, or event
    horizon, of a black hole. To a far-off observer, time seems to stand
    still here. A spacecraft falling into a black hole would seem, to
    someone watching it from afar, to be stuck forever at the event
    horizon, although the astronauts in the spacecraft would feel as if
    they were continuing to fall. "General relativity predicts that
    nothing happens at the event horizon," says Chapline.
    Quantum transitions
    However, as long ago as 1975 quantum physicists argued that strange
    things do happen at an event horizon: matter governed by quantum laws
    becomes hypersensitive to slight disturbances. "The result was quickly
    forgotten," says Chapline, "because it didn't agree with the
    prediction of general relativity. But actually, it was absolutely
    This strange behaviour, he says, is the signature of a 'quantum phase
    transition' of space-time. Chapline argues that a star doesn't simply
    collapse to form a black hole; instead, the space-time inside it
    becomes filled with dark energy and this has some intriguing
    gravitational effects.
    Outside the 'surface' of a dark-energy star, it behaves much like a
    black hole, producing a strong gravitational tug. But inside, the
    'negative' gravity of dark energy may cause matter to bounce back out
    If the dark-energy star is big enough, Chapline predicts, any
    electrons bounced out will have been converted to positrons, which
    then annihilate other electrons in a burst of high-energy radiation.
    Chapline says that this could explain the radiation observed from the
    centre of our galaxy, previously interpreted as the signature of a
    huge black hole.
    He also thinks that the Universe could be filled with 'primordial'
    dark-energy stars. These are formed not by stellar collapse but by
    fluctuations of space-time itself, like blobs of liquid condensing
    spontaneously out of a cooling gas. These, he suggests, could be stuff
    that has the same gravitational effect as normal matter, but cannot be
    seen: the elusive substance known as dark matter.

     1. Chapline G. Arxiv, [55]http://xxx.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0503200


   52. http://www.nature.com/news/about/aboutus.html#Ball

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