Scientists Find: Certain Black Holes Erase Your Past, And Give You Infinite Number Of Possible Futures
A researcher from the University of California Berkley claims that there are certain types of black holes in the cosmos that can ‘press the reset button on history.’
According to experts, these black holes have the ability to reset the past completely and offer an infinite number of possible futures.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
In the real world, the past uniquely determines the future. If a physicist knows how the universe began, he has the necessary means to calculate its future for all time and all space. However, a UC Berkeley mathematician has found some types of black holes in which this law does not apply.
If someone ventured into one of these relatively benign black holes, he could survive, but his past would be erased, and he could have an infinite number of possible futures.
Such claims have been made in the past, and physicists have invoked a “strong cosmic censure” to explain it.
There are two types actually; the weak and strong cosmic censorship hypotheses.
Experts suggest that there are certain ‘barriers’ within black holes, deeper than the even horizon, beyond which physics is entirely canceled out, and nothing can be predicted from there. Some argue that this barrier seals off troublesome singularities from the rest of space and time, which in turn prevents their lawlessness from becoming a pressing issue, note science alert.
However, they note a second cosmic censorship also exists. This one, a stronger version of cosmic censorship, holds the idea that physical lawlessness does not exist. This would require or the ‘barrier’ to disappear so that physics could live on.
Peter Hintz, a scientist from the University of California, Berkeley, has his doubts about version number two.
“People had been complacent for some 20 years, since the mid-’90s, that strong cosmological censorship is always verified,” says Hinz.
“We challenge that point of view.”
After studying non-rotating objects called Reissner-Nordström-de Sitter black holes, Hintz and his colleagues argue that theoretically, these mysterious black holes would have a barrier called a Cauchy horizon. Beyond this point, say, experts, there’s no cause and effect inside this warped landscape, and time and space are smeared smoothly into an infinite instant.
A spacetime diagram of the gravitational collapse of a charged spherical star to form a charged black hole. An observer traveling across the event horizon will eventually encounter the Cauchy horizon, the boundary of the region of spacetime that can be predicted from the initial data. Hintz and his colleagues found that a region of spacetime, denoted by a question mark, cannot be predicted from the initial data in a universe with accelerating expansion, like our own. This violates the principle of strong cosmic censorship. (Image courtesy of APS/Alan Stonebraker)
The Cauchy Horizon, within the event horizon— a boundary beyond which nothing, not even light nor radiation, can escape, is where determinism breaks down. This means that it is there where the past no longer influences the future.
If someone would somehow end up venturing into these black holes, he could survive, but his past would be completely obliterated, and he would face a number of different possible futures.
“It is no longer uniquely determined by full knowledge of the initial conditions,” Hintz said. “That is why it’s very troublesome.”
What life would be like in a space where the future was unpredictable is unclear.
“No physicist is going to travel into a black hole and measure it. This is a math question. But from that point of view, this makes Einstein’s equations mathematically more interesting,” he said. “This is a question one can only study mathematically, but it has physical, almost philosophical implications, which makes it very cool.”
“This … conclusion corresponds to a severe failure of determinism in general relativity that cannot be taken lightly in view of the importance in modern cosmology” of accelerating expansion, said his colleagues at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, Vitor Cardoso, João Costa and Kyriakos Destounis, and at Utrecht University, Aron Jansen.
As quoted by Physics World, Gary Horowitz of UC Santa Barbara, who was not involved in the research, said that the study provides “the best evidence I know for a violation of strong cosmic censorship in a theory of gravity and electromagnetism.”
Featured image credit: CC0 Creative Commons