Since the beginning, human beings are in a search to unravel the mysteries of the Universe. Century after century, year after year, there is always a discovery, a new theory that challenges all the pre-existing ideas we had. From the Big Bang to capturing the images of Black Holes, the search never stops.
Albert Einstein was the most intelligent man to ever walk the Earth. His theories are the foundation stone of Physics. He was a Nobel Prize winner in Physics for his theory of The Photoelectric Effect. His greatest ever theory published a century ago, paved the way for all modern theories and is still unbreakable till date. Many new findings are redefinitions of this theory. But now, a new theory might challenge it.
Relativity and Black Holes
Relativity is a rather simple idea that the laws of physics are the same everywhere. We here observe the laws the same way as someone living on the far edges of the Universe. Einstein formulates this concept using two interlinked ideas; Space and Time.
Special relativity suggests that space and time link to moving objects at a constant speed. The theory also gave us the famous E=mc² equation. General relativity explains gravity and how it affects other forces.
The theory predicts the existence of a very peculiar event in spacetime called a Black Hole. A Black Hole is an event in which an enormous amount of mass and energy accumulates at a single point in spacetime.
In such an event, the Black Hole distorts space and time and not even light can escape that point. The centre of this event is called a Singularity. Until now, Black Holes were just a product of relativity. On April 10, 2019, NASA released the first-ever image of this spectacular event.
An array of radio telescopes that spans the entire Earth captured this monster black hole which is at the centre of the Messier 87 Galaxy. It was a breakthrough moment in scientific history and also proof of Einstein’s relativity theory.
Artificial Black Holes
Observing a black hole is a very difficult task on its own and creating one is impossible. Well, that is until now. Some scientists now believe we can artificially create black holes inside powerful particle accelerators.
Particle accelerators are machines that accelerate charged particles to very high velocities and energies. The biggest and most powerful particle accelerator in existence is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Some scientists say that sub-microscopic black holes can originate in powerful accelerators. These black holes exist for only the millionth of a second and are tiny.
The idea is that a black hole exists where a lot of matter and energy exist in a small volume. A similar situation is present in the LHC. Inside, a lot of matter concentrates on a beam of particles.
These particles then collide with each other and release a huge amount of energy and also create new particles. Einstein’s famous equation comes into play here.
So, theoretically, this close formation of particles should create small black holes. But there is the main problem. With the current understanding of physics, this is not possible and it requires a massive amount of energy (approximately 10 quintillion electron volts) to work. The LHC is only capable of getting particles up to 14 trillion electron volts.
For now, we know that the theory has its problems. Theoretically, it predicts the possibility of places with infinite density. But we know, currently, that’s not possible.
There is probably a more correct version of the theory in which this problem is solved. That theory will have different results. Scientists think this theory to be quantum gravity (a combination of quantum mechanics and relativity).
Into the Future
CERN is currently building an even bigger collider which will deliver even more energy: The Very Large Hadron Collider (VLHC). This next-generation accelerate may answer our deepest questions and maybe more.
Getting closer to a black hole may help us understand more about our universe. We are talking about interdimensional space travel and much more. Only time will tell.
In the words of cosmologist Sir Stephen Hawking,
There is no limit to Human endeavour!
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