Black holes not arbiters of doom: Researcher

New York, June 17 (IANS) Black holes are not ruthless killers as some studies have made them out, says an Indian-origin professor from Ohio State University.

According to Samir Mathur, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur), the recently proposed idea that black holes have “firewalls” that destroy all they touch has a loophole.

In a paper posted online to the arXiv preprint server, Mathur took issue with the firewall theory and proved mathematically that black holes are not necessarily arbiters of doom.

More than a decade ago, Mathur showed that black holes are actually tangled-up balls of cosmic strings. His “fuzzball theory” helped resolve certain contradictions in how physicists think of black holes.

But when a group of researchers recently tried to build on Mathur’s theory, they concluded that the surface of the fuzzball was actually a firewall.

According to the firewall theory, the surface of the fuzzball is deadly. In fact, the idea is called the firewall theory because it suggests that a very literal fiery death awaits anything that touches it.

Mathur and his team have been expanding on their fuzzball theory, too, and they have come to a completely different conclusion. They see black holes not as killers, but rather as benign copy machines of a sort.

They believe that when material touches the surface of a black hole, it becomes a hologram, a near-perfect copy of itself that continues to exist just as before.

“If the surface of a black hole is a firewall, then the idea of the universe as a hologram has to be wrong,” Mathur said.

This new dispute about firewalls and fuzzballs hinges on whether physicists can accept that black holes are imperfect, just like the rest of the universe.

“There is no such thing as a perfect black hole, because every black hole is different,” Mathur added.

According to NASA, a black hole is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area with a gravitational field so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape.

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