All black holes are not the same, and some types of black holes could be used for hyperspace travel, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
Using black holes as portals for intergalactic travel is an idea that many theoretical physicists have debated for years. While the idea may sound feasible to some people, there is definitely a major issue in the concept: how would a spacecraft (or a traveller) approach a black hole without being torn apart by the immense gravitational forces of the black hole?
Gaurav Khanna, professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, possibly has a solution to this problem.
In an article published in The Conversation, Professor Khanna states that not all the black holes present in the universe are of the same type, and a giant, rotating black hole could possibly serve as a portal for hyperspace travel.
Black holes are created when gravity crushes a dying star without limit. This causes the entire star to get compressed down to a single point, thus resulting in formation of a hot, dense, singularity.
"If the black hole like Sagittarius A*, located at the centre of our own galaxy, is large and rotating, then the outlook for a spacecraft changes dramatically. That's because the singularity that a spacecraft would have to contend with is very gentle and could allow for a very peaceful passage," said Khanna.
He asserts that the relevant singularity inside a rotating black hole would be technically weak and would not damage the object inside. Travelling through such a black hole would therefore be a relatively gentle experience, much like moving your fingers quickly through the flame of a candle, without getting burned.
Gaurav Khanna's claims are based on the results of a computer model created by Caroline Mallary, a PhD student of Gaurav Khanna. Mallary created the model to test whether the concept presented by Christopher Nolan in the movie Interstellar is true.
In the movie, Matthew McConaughey plays the character of Cooper, who survives his deep fall into a supermassive, rotating black hole.
The results from Mallary's computer model suggested that the singularity inside a giant, rapidly-spinning black hole will be far weaker than in other black holes, and that an object falling into such a black hole, will actually enjoy a smooth journey.
"Under all conditions, an object falling into a rotating black hole would not experience infinitely large effects upon passage through the hole's so-called inner horizon singularity.
"Not only that, under the right circumstances, these effects may be negligibly small, allowing for a rather comfortable passage through the singularity. In fact, there may no noticeable effects on the falling object at all," added Gaurav Khanna.
However, there are important assumptions in the context of Mallary's model. It is assumed that the giant, rotating black hole is completely isolated and does not experience constant disturbances by a source, such as another star close-by or even any falling radiation.
It would really be interesting to see the results of a similar computer simulation study in the context of a more realistic astrophysical black hole.
The findings of the study are published in the journal Physical Review D.
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