Black holes really just ever-growing balls of string, researchers say

July 26, 2018 by Misti Crane, The Ohio State University

Black holes aren't surrounded by a burning ring of fire after all, suggests new research.

Some physicists have believed in a "firewall" around the perimeter of a black hole that would incinerate anything sucked into its powerful gravitational pull.

But a team from The Ohio State University has calculated an explanation of what would happen if an electron fell into a typical black hole, with a mass as big as the sun.

"The probability of the electron hitting a photon from the radiation and burning up is negligible, dropping even further if one considers larger known to exist in space," said Samir Mathur, a professor of physics at Ohio State. The study appears in the Journal of High Energy Physics.

The new study builds on previous work from 2004 led by Mathur that theorized that black holes are basically like giant, messy balls of yarn—fuzzballs" that gather more and more heft as new objects are sucked in. That theory, Mathur said, resolved the famous black hole "information paradox" outlined by Steven Hawking in 1975. Hawking's research had concluded that particles entering a black hole can never leave. But that ran counter to the laws of , creating the paradox.

The firewall argument emerged in 2012, when four physicists from the University of California, Santa Barbara argued that any object like a fuzzball would have to be surrounded by a ring of fire that will burn any object before it could reach the fuzzball's surface.

Credit: The Ohio State University
"What we've shown in this new study is a flaw in the firewall argument," Mathur said.

Black holes are places in space with such immense that not even light can escape once it's captured. Their powerful pull condenses any matter black holes draw in. They are invisible, but scientists have established that black holes can range from tiny to huge, estimations that are based on the behavior of stars and gas surrounding the black hole.

After months of mathematical machinations, Mathur and his team arrived at their by-the-numbers explanation to support their theory discounting the firewall. It's built on string theory, the scientific notion that the universe is composed of subatomic string-like tubes of energy. The belief is rooted in the marriage of quantum mechanics (which concerns itself with the mathematics of subatomic particles) and Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

Mathur has always counted himself among those scientists who are firewall skeptics.

"The question is 'Where does the black hole grab you?' We think that as a person approaches the horizon, the fuzzball surface grows to meet it before it has a chance to reach the hottest part of the radiation, and this is a crucial finding in this new physics paper that invalidates the firewall argument," he said.

"Once a person falling into the black hole is tangled up in strings, there's no easy way to decide what he will feel.

"The argument had seemed like a quick way to prove that something falling through the horizon burns up. But we now see that there cannot be any such quick argument; what happens can only be decided by detailed calculations in string ," Mathur said.

Explore further: What's on the surface of a black hole? Not 'firewall'—and nature of universe depends on it, physicist explains

More information: For more details on the new study, visit www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~ma … r/firewallstory2.pdf

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14 comments

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Benni
2.8 / 5 (13) Jul 26, 2018
We need Pop-Cosmology aficionados to come here & explain what the hell we just read.
RNP
3.3 / 5 (14) Jul 26, 2018
@Benni
Click on the link at the bottom of the article. It is all explained there. Just in case you are confused, here it is again: http://www.physic...ory2.pdf

novasp9
3.5 / 5 (13) Jul 26, 2018
Just more string theory pseudoscience. Untestable crap.
cantdrive85
3 / 5 (12) Jul 26, 2018
"We have to learn again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture." Hannes Alfvén

See faerie tales of imaginary conjecture above in article and at link DNP left.
tallenglish
4.3 / 5 (3) Jul 26, 2018
While this is non-technical, sounds like the fuzzball is just 1D spacetime/mass, the event horizon is where it changes to 2D and external to the BH is 3D and from what the PDF suggests the hawking radiation is just the expansion of spactime unwinding this fuzzball.

I can understand then why they emit lots of radiation as the quark bonds, etc are ripped apart, likely excited even further by light hitting it from behind. So black holes litterally are the recycling trash cans of the universe and effectively just a collosal version of a yoyo.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
5 / 5 (6) Jul 26, 2018
From the article: ""Once a person falling into the black hole is tangled up in strings, there's no easy way to decide what he will feel."

I doubt that he would feel anything, unless the dead can still feel.
Tangled up in "strings"? Is this similar to a spider's web that has entangled a flying insect and holding it fast?

So black holes litterally are the recycling trash cans of the universe and effectively just a collosal version of a yoyo.


I too, have thought that for many years, where they are comparable to trash cans on street corners of most cities.
dnatwork
3.5 / 5 (2) Jul 27, 2018
Here's my take on the pop cosmology version.

Imagine you are sailing in a straight line.

If you believe the "ring of fire" theory, then the world is flat. You will expect to be crushed to nothing between the sky and the water where they meet at the hard line of the horizon. The end.

If you believe the "ball of string" theory, then the world is round. You will expect more and more of the world to open up and be revealed to you as you sail toward it. What was small or invisible will get ever larger to your sight the farther you go. You will never reach the horizon, but you will pass far behind the line of sight of anyone on the shore.
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (1) Jul 27, 2018
No Theory has been proposed! Try q.
Whart1984
Jul 27, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Whart1984
Jul 27, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
3 / 5 (2) Jul 27, 2018
If charge exists and is bipolar then any force or particle is derivative, i.e. f(q,r,t)
Theory
Axiom: Charge Exists!
Charge is the geometrical center of an infinite asymptotic field.
Each charge is unique: Superposition applies! Etc. Logic, Theory defined from an existence proof!
Hyperfuzzy
5 / 5 (1) Jul 27, 2018
It is illogical to search for an existence proof of a Theory. Theory is defined from existence. Trying to prove the non-existent exists by observation provable by known is ...
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Jul 28, 2018
"Once a person falling into the black hole is tangled up in strings, there's no easy way to decide what he will feel."

uh he will feel dead?
NoStrings
not rated yet Jul 28, 2018
TheGhost, I was considering a comment along these lines, thank you.
This is the only kind of a comment this stupid article deserves, as there is no substance to even argue with. Not even wrong.

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