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Scientists Poke Holes in Supernova Firewall Theory

first_img Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring. Black holes, however, do not.New research disproves the so-called “firewall” theory, which suggests the ring of fire around a supernova would incinerate anything sucked into its gravitational pull.A team from Ohio State University determined what would actually happen if an electron fell into a 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,” as reported by physics professor Samir Mathur, who calculated even lower odds “if one considers larger black holes known to exist in space.”The study, published by the Journal of High Energy Physics, follows Mathur’s previous work theorizing that black holes are basically like giant, messy balls of yarn—”fuzzballs” that gather more heft as new objects are absorbed.In 2012, physicists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, announced a hypothetical phenomenon where a person falling into a black hole would get burnt by a “firewall” of radiation as they approach the event horizon.It makes sense: After all, a black hole 20 million times more massive than our Sun was caught shredding a star more than twice the Sun’s mass. So imagine what it’d do to a lowly human.But the theory isn’t true, according to Mathur & Co.’s research, which is built on string theory—the scientific notion that the universe is composed of subatomic string-like tubes of energy.“What we’ve shown in this new study is a flaw in the firewall argument,” he said.Scientifically speaking, a black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles or light—can escape from inside it.“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,” Mathur explained. “Once a person falling into the black hole is tangled up in strings, there’s no easy way to decide what he [or she] will feel.”A long-time firewall skeptic, the professor has been working for years to discount the theory, which he said: “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,” he added. “What happens can only be decided by detailed calculations in string theory.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Scientists Find ‘Hungry’ Supermassive Black Hole Eating 3 Meals DailyScientists Behind First Black Hole Image Win $3 Million Prize last_img

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