1
   

American astronomers claim that black holes may not exist

 
 
Reply Fri 28 Jul, 2006 11:37 pm
A controversial alternative to black hole theory has been bolstered by observations of an object in the distant universe, researchers say. If their interpretation is correct, it might mean black holes do not exist and are in fact bizarre and compact balls of plasma called MECOs.

http://www.newscientistspace.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn9620/dn9620-1_500.jpg
The hole in the disc of matter in quasar Q0957+561 shown in this artist's impression could be the sign of an exotic compact object called a MECO (Image: Christine Pulliam/CfA)

Quote:
American astronomers claim that black holes may not exist

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Saturday July 29, 2006
The Guardian


They swallow everything that comes their way and exercise the world's finest minds, but the portrayal of black holes as awe-inspiring celestial menaces may be woefully inaccurate, a team of scientists claim. Indeed, they might not exist at all.

According to the researchers, the traditional astronomers' view of a universe liberally sprinkled with invisible, all-consuming black holes should be replaced with an alternative that sees strange, magnetic balls of plasma floating in their place.

If the finding is verified - an event some scientists do not see on the horizon - it would dramatically overturn a theory that emerged from an English geologist's calculations in 1784, was verified by Einstein and confined by four laws drawn up by Professor Stephen Hawking.

The scientists, lead by Rudy Schild at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, spotted what they claim to be the death knell for black hole theory while observing a quasar, lurking nine billion light years from Earth.

Quasars are believed to have black holes at their centres, but to test this assumption, the scientists set up 14 telescopes to keep an unprecedented watch on the object. By analysing the gentle flickering of the quasar, the team were able to probe the structure of its interior.

They discovered a gaping hole in a disc of material surrounding the centre of the quasar, as wide as 4,000 times the distance from the Earth to the sun. The hole, they believe, could only be caused by a vast ejection of material propelled by a strong magnetic field.

Because black holes do not have magnetic fields, Dr Schild's team suggest in The Astronomical Journal, the quasar must be powered by a dense ball of plasma called a MECO (magnetospheric eternally collapsing object). But according to the astronomers' theories the MECOs' existence precludes the possibility of black holes.

"I believe this is the first evidence that the whole black hole paradigm is incorrect," said Darryl Leiter, a scientist on the team told the New Scientist.

According to Gerry Gilmore at Cambridge University's Institute for Astronomy, the theory has yet to convince most scientists. He pointed to last year's groundbreaking experiments that gave the first direct observation of a black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. "I'd have to say it's a minority view. It's almost certainly wrong," said Prof Gilmore. "Before we had observations of a black hole, there was a legitimate debate over whether black holes existed or not, but now it's hard to think how it could be anything else."


Related Press Release by Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 881 • Replies: 10
No top replies

 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 12:11 am
They believe in black holes, because they appear in the equations of General Relativity, not because someone saw them in a picture.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 12:46 am
Brandon9000 wrote:
They believe in black holes, because they appear in the equations of General Relativity, not because someone saw them in a picture.


I'd rather thought, as Gilmore pointed it out, that the existence of black holes in the universe was supported by astronomical observations, based on theories.

But it will certainly last some time until there's more or less one dominant opinion about it .... again.
0 Replies
 
Heliotrope
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 02:32 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:
They believe in black holes, because they appear in the equations of General Relativity, not because someone saw them in a picture.


I'd rather thought, as Gilmore pointed it out, that the existence of black holes in the universe was supported by astronomical observations, based on theories.

Nope.
You and they are incorrect.
There is no cause for belief here. The facts do not support "belief" in black holes. Belief means accepting something to be true without evidence.

The facts do support the existence of massive, compact objects that have a lot of the characteristics of black holes.
But no one has ever seen a black hole, no one has ever observed an event horizon, no one has ever observed anything absolutely unequivocal that confirms the existence of black holes.

There are huge quantities of data, observations, experimental evidence, theoretical calculations and all the other information that employment of the Scientific Method allows us access to, all of it supporting the existence of small, extremely compact regions of high gravitational intensity.
Those objects may or may not be black holes.
At the moment there is not enough information to tell.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 02:56 am
bm
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jul, 2006 07:11 am
Interesting to say the least, but as a scientist I will remain sceptical of this finding.
0 Replies
 
Buescher
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jul, 2006 02:29 pm
First of all, black holes were theoretically suggested from the equations of general relativity. The most basic explanation would come from the Schwarzschild metric for spacetime around a perfectly spherical non-rotating body. At a certain radius for a given mass, the coordinates for space and time become "switched" (the lightcone begins to turn inward and is contained entirely within the event horizon.) This point determines what is called the Scharzschild radius of a blackhole.

Secondly, it was first thought that blackholes could not have a magnetic field, but the application of Quantum Mechanics to regions around the event horizon (done by Stephen Hawking) demonstrated that radiation actually does eminate out of a blackhole and, additionally, the horizon can possess a magnetic field and other properties, even such as elasticity.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jul, 2006 03:14 pm
I read an article a while ago about an alternate interpretation of black holes. The article discussed how the singularity of a black hole in General Relativity is caused by Einstein's decision not to "double count" some particular force.

I'll see if I can dig up a reference.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Aug, 2006 03:06 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
I'd rather thought, as Gilmore pointed it out, that the existence of black holes in the universe was supported by astronomical observations, based on theories.

To my knowledge, the general theory of relativity predicted them before astronomers found candidates in their pictures.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Aug, 2006 03:24 am
Brandon9000 wrote:
They believe in black holes..
thats right Brandon, keep the faith!
0 Replies
 
Buescher
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Aug, 2006 07:24 am
Yes, as I said, it took very little time after Einstein published his paper on GR for Schwarzschild to find a solution to the field equations (Einstein hadn't thought that it could be done.)

ds^2 = -c^2(1 - 2GM/rc^2)dt^2 + ((1 - 2GM/rc^2)^(-1))dr^2 + r^2(dTheta)^2 + sin^2(Theta)((dPhi)^2)

Obviously strange things happen when the term (1 - 2GM/rc^2) becomes negative. The properties of blackholes can be determined by examing the graphs of different observers, but I can't post that kind of thing in text like this.

Solving for r yields:

r = (2GM)/(c^2)

This is the Schwarzschild radius for a blackhole. Thus, the existence of blackholes was theoretically predicted soon after Einstein's publication.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Evolution 101 - Discussion by gungasnake
Typing Equations on a PC - Discussion by Brandon9000
The Future of Artificial Intelligence - Discussion by Brandon9000
The well known Mind vs Brain. - Discussion by crayon851
Scientists Offer Proof of 'Dark Matter' - Discussion by oralloy
Blue Saturn - Discussion by oralloy
Bald Eagle-DDT Myth Still Flying High - Discussion by gungasnake
DDT: A Weapon of Mass Survival - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » American astronomers claim that black holes may not exist
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/26/2022 at 03:21:59