Among the countless cosmicobjects, the most mysterious are black holes - regions of space-time, the force of attraction of which is so great that even photons of light cannot escape their event horizon. Supermassive black holes are thought to be at the centers of galaxies, and the Milky Way is no exception. And although our knowledge of the universe and its inhabitants is limited, scientists continue to collect them bit by bit. As technology has advanced, computer models have become the most important scientific tool - with their help, researchers have developed realistic models of the universe. Moreover, earlier this year, a team of physicists from the University of Amsterdam simulated the event horizon of a black hole in the laboratory. It may seem surprising, but the artificial black hole began to emit radiation, as the famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking predicted. This discovery is likely to allow scientists to develop a completely new physical theory that combines general relativity (GR) and the principles of quantum mechanics. But how?
In 1974, Stephen Hawking suggested that small black holes could evaporate, which is a paradox in general, since even photons of light itself cannot leave the event horizon.
Black holes begin their life journey fromdeath - stars whose mass exceeds at least three times the solar mass burn out and explode, discarding the outer shell, after which they shrink and collapse into black holes. This process happens all the time - new stars are born, old ones die. And the larger the star, the faster it burns fuel and dies. However, the origin of supermassive black holes (whose mass exceeds the solar one by millions and billions of times) is still unknown.
This process is so amazing that modern science pays a lot of attention to it: small black holes, perhaps formed at the center of young galaxies during a merger (collisions).Understanding the physics of these objects is the key to unraveling the fundamental laws that govern the universe. This is because black holes represent the limit of two of the most proven theories - general relativity and quantum mechanics.
Recall that Einstein's GR describes gravity as a result of space-time deformation by massive objects, and quantum theory describes the structure of the universe at the level of atoms.
But despite the received images of the horizonblack hole events in the heart of the Milky Way and in the center of the galaxy M87 (Messier 87), scientists still have a lot of questions. Thus, the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking studied these mysterious objects for decades and in 1974 suggested that the interruption of quantum event horizon fluctuations emits a type of radiation similar to thermal radiation. The problem is that this radiation is probably too weak to be detected by the inhabitants of the Earth.
To analyze the properties of radiationHawking, the researchers decided to create its analogue in the laboratory (many young scientists sin with this), which eventually succeeded in a group of physicists from the University of Amsterdam. During the study, physicists observed a stunning result of their work - a glow on a simulated event horizon, though under certain conditions.
Note that the observed artificial radiation is particles created by perturbations of quantum fluctuations due to the curvature of space-time by the gravitational force of the black hole.
The proposed model in the future will allow to studythe space surrounding black holes, which is not affected by the extreme dynamics of their formation. "Our work can help further study the fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics, as well as gravity and curved spacetime in various condensed matter environments," the authors of the new study write.
Read more: Stephen Hawking's Black Hole Theory Confirmed
But what is even more surprising is thatthe results lead us straight to the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, the phenomenon in which two particles remain bound no matter how far apart they are. The authors of a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society believe that the entanglement of particles crossing the event horizon plays an important role in the generation of Hawking radiation.
Black hole from the laboratory
To create an event horizon in the labsconditions, physicists have modeled a single-row chain of atoms. The resulting Hawking radiation—particles created by perturbations of quantum fluctuations due to the black hole tearing space-time—appeared as a visible glow.
The team then went on to createartificial black hole - for which a one-dimensional chain of atoms was developed, between which electrons "jump" from one position to another. By tweaking the ease with which these jumps can occur, the researchers created a kind of event horizon that interfered with the undulating nature of the electrons.
Different bond strength between atoms simulatescurvature of space-time in the presence of a black hole. In essence, we used “a chain of atoms in a single file to simulate a black hole event horizon” to observe Hawking radiation, the researchers said, according to ScienceAlert.
According to the authors of the scientific work, developedthe model was consistent with theoretical expectations at the moment when part of the chain of atoms went beyond the event horizon. This could mean that the quantum entanglement of particles generates Hawking radiation. True, what exactly the obtained results mean for the as yet non-existent theory of quantum gravity is unclear. Fortunately, the work of the team from the University of Amsterdam can be used in a variety of experimental setups, which means that further discoveries are not to be avoided.
Once an object crosses the event horizonblack hole, we can only guess what lies beyond it. It is possible that these space monsters may be portals to other universes or a way to travel through our own. Read more about how theoretical physicists came to this conclusion, we told earlier, do not miss it.
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Recall that one of the main desires of StephenHawking was the creation of a unified theory of quantum gravity, which could combine two irreconcilable theories and, therefore, could be applied everywhere and finally know the fundamental laws of the universe and our existence in it. You can read about other equally intriguing scientific theories about the quantum properties of black holes here.