Skip to comments.Every Black Hole Contains a New Universe: A physicist presents a solution to present-day cosmic..
Posted on 06/04/2012 1:01:23 AM PDT by LibWhacker
Inside Science Minds presents an ongoing series of guest columnists and personal perspectives presented by scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and others in the science community showcasing some of the most interesting ideas in science today.
(ISM) -- Our universe may exist inside a black hole. This may sound strange, but it could actually be the best explanation of how the universe began, and what we observe today. It's a theory that has been explored over the past few decades by a small group of physicists including myself.
Successful as it is, there are notable unsolved questions with the standard big bang theory, which suggests that the universe began as a seemingly impossible "singularity," an infinitely small point containing an infinitely high concentration of matter, expanding in size to what we observe today. The theory of inflation, a super-fast expansion of space proposed in recent decades, fills in many important details, such as why slight lumps in the concentration of matter in the early universe coalesced into large celestial bodies such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
But these theories leave major questions unresolved. For example: What started the big bang? What caused inflation to end? What is the source of the mysterious dark energy that is apparently causing the universe to speed up its expansion?
The idea that our universe is entirely contained within a black hole provides answers to these problems and many more. It eliminates the notion of physically impossible singularities in our universe. And it draws upon two central theories in physics.
Nikodem Poplawski displays a "tornado in a tube". The top bottle symbolizes a black hole, the connected necks represent a wormhole and the lower bottle symbolizes the growing universe on the just-formed other side of the wormhole.The first is general relativity, the modern theory of gravity. It describes the universe at the largest scales. Any event in the universe occurs as a point in space and time, or spacetime. A massive object such as the Sun distorts or "curves" spacetime, like a bowling ball sitting on a canvas. The Sun's gravitational dent alters the motion of Earth and the other planets orbiting it. The sun's pull of the planets appears to us as the force of gravity.
The second is quantum mechanics, which describes the universe at the smallest scales, such as the level of the atom. However, quantum mechanics and general relativity are currently separate theories; physicists have been striving to combine the two successfully into a single theory of "quantum gravity" to adequately describe important phenomena, including the behavior of subatomic particles in black holes.
A 1960s adaptation of general relativity, called the Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble theory of gravity, takes into account effects from quantum mechanics. It not only provides a step towards quantum gravity but also leads to an alternative picture of the universe. This variation of general relativity incorporates an important quantum property known as spin. Particles such as atoms and electrons possess spin, or the internal angular momentum that is analogous to a skater spinning on ice.
In this picture, spins in particles interact with spacetime and endow it with a property called "torsion." To understand torsion, imagine spacetime not as a two-dimensional canvas, but as a flexible, one-dimensional rod. Bending the rod corresponds to curving spacetime, and twisting the rod corresponds to spacetime torsion. If a rod is thin, you can bend it, but it's hard to see if it's twisted or not.
Spacetime torsion would only be significant, let alone noticeable, in the early universe or in black holes. In these extreme environments, spacetime torsion would manifest itself as a repulsive force that counters the attractive gravitational force coming from spacetime curvature. As in the standard version of general relativity, very massive stars end up collapsing into black holes: regions of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape.
Here is how torsion would play out in the beginning moments of our universe. Initially, the gravitational attraction from curved space would overcome torsion's repulsive forces, serving to collapse matter into smaller regions of space. But eventually torsion would become very strong and prevent matter from compressing into a point of infinite density; matter would reach a state of extremely large but finite density. As energy can be converted into mass, the immensely high gravitational energy in this extremely dense state would cause an intense production of particles, greatly increasing the mass inside the black hole.
The increasing numbers of particles with spin would result in higher levels of spacetime torsion. Therepulsive torsion would stop the collapse and would create a "big bounce" like a compressed beach ball that snaps outward. The rapid recoil after such a big bounce could be what has led to our expanding universe. The result of this recoil matches observations of the universe's shape, geometry, and distribution of mass.
In turn, the torsion mechanism suggests an astonishing scenario: every black hole would produce a new, baby universe inside. If that is true, then the first matter in our universe came from somewhere else. So our own universe could be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe. Just as we cannot see what is going on inside black holes in the cosmos, any observers in the parent universe could not see what is going on in ours.
The motion of matter through the black hole's boundary, called an "event horizon," would only happen in one direction, providing a direction of time that we perceive as moving forward. The arrow of time in our universe would therefore be inherited, through torsion, from the parent universe.
Torsion could also explain the observed imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe. Because of torsion, matter would decay into familiar electrons and quarks, and antimatter would decay into "dark matter," a mysterious invisible form of matter that appears to account for a majority of matter in the universe.
Finally, torsion could be the source of "dark energy," a mysterious form of energy that permeates all of space and increases the rate of expansion of the universe. Geometry with torsion naturally produces a "cosmological constant," a sort of added-on outward force which is the simplest way to explain dark energy. Thus, the observed accelerating expansion of the universe may end up being the strongest evidence for torsion.
Torsion therefore provides a theoretical foundation for a scenario in which the interior of every black hole becomes a new universe. It also appears as a remedy to several major problems of current theory of gravity and cosmology. Physicists still need to combine the Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble theory fully with quantum mechanics into a quantum theory of gravity. While resolving some major questions, it raises new ones of its own. For example, what do we know about the parent universe and the black hole inside which our own universe resides? How many layers of parent universes would we have? How can we test that our universe lives in a black hole?
The last question can potentially be investigated: since all stars and thus black holes rotate, our universe would have inherited the parent black holes axis of rotation as a "preferred direction." There is some recently reported evidence from surveys of over 15,000 galaxies that in one hemisphere of the universe more spiral galaxies are "left-handed", or rotating clockwise, while in the other hemisphere more are "right-handed", or rotating counterclockwise. In any case, I believe that including torsion in geometry of spacetime is a right step towards a successful theory of cosmology.
Nikodem Poplawski is a theoretical physicist at Indiana University.
A leap of faith to describe something you don’t even know what is...
Or worse to think you know what isn’t..
No, man. Every universe is a marble in a locket on a cat’s collar.
Didn’t you see Men In Black?
The universe is everything.
How can there be many universes?
There’s nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth again.
Interesting. The problem is that most of the theories put forth in astrophysics are difficult if not impossible to test.
Sounds like government to me.
In real life, there is no such thing as a black hole, there is only the one universe which we observe, gravity does not bind cosmic objects together, and there was never such a thing as a “big bang(TM)”. The desire for multiple universe arises from the evolosers understanding what the odds against evolution are in the one universe we actually have.
If such is the case, how does one account for being able to measure the mass of a black hole? I find Chandrasakahr’s (sp?) view of how black holes are formed more plausible.
...”most of the theories put forth in astrophysics are difficult if not impossible to test.”
Maybe for us...
The problem is that most of the theories put forth in astrophysics are difficult if not impossible to test.
Yes, it’s very convenient.
Wouldn’t each child universe have less matter and energy than its parent universe?
It wouldn’t take too long for the succeeding generation of child universes to get too light-weight for black holes to form.
I give this theory an F.
Unhunh. Ever more complex theories to preen ones ego with.
The universe is everything. How can there be many universes?It's called the multiverse.
I'm putting my own theory forward called the Snack Cake Paradox; that every black hole contains a Ring Ding Jr. at the center.
Inflation is basically a concoction to explain away several serious problems with the Big Bang Theory, namely...
1. The Horizon Problem
2. The Flatness Problem
3. The Galaxy Formation Problem
4. The Antimatter Problem
Here is an excellent source which explains in layman terms what these problems are:
And here are some things I found some time ago on inflation theory...
Alan Guth [inventor of Inflation theory]: "Those 'little creatures'[cosmic microwave background photons], however, would have to communicate at roughly 100 times the speed of light if they are to achieve their goal of creating a uniform temperature across the visible Universe by 300,000 years after the Big Bang." http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Guth/Guth2.html
As Albrecht, now at the University of California at Davis, puts it, inflation is not yet a theory: "It is more of a nice idea at this point."...
"The model in Guth's original paper, published in Physical Review D in 1980, admittedly did not work. Michael Turner of the University of Chicago, who took part in Bardeen's calculation of the density perturbations, says Guth had been brave. "One of the striking things about [Guth's] paper," Turner says, "was that he said: 'Look, guys, the model I am putting forward does not work. I can prove it doesn't work. But I think the basic idea is really important.' "
In fact, Guth's "old" inflation ended too soon, and too messily. A "graceful exit" was needed to make the universe look remotely similar to ours. In 1982 Paul Steinhardt, another co-author of Bardeen's calculation, solved the graceful exit problem together with Andreas Albrecht; Linde also found a solution independently. Their "new" inflation worked by adjusting the shape of the potential function, a sort of mathematical roller-coaster that defines the properties of the inflation.
Most of the mechanisms proposed ever since rely on carefully adjusting the shape of the hypothetical potential function. None, it seems, has been too convincing. "All these models seem so awkward, and so finely tuned," says Mark Wise, a cosmologist at the California Institute of Technology.
Physicists would like a theory that avoids such gimmicks, one that shows how things ought to be from first principlesor at least with the smallest possible number of assumptions. "Fine tuning" is the opposite.
It was two fine-tuning problems, two such implausible balancing acts, that inflation was supposed to have solved. "You're trying to explain away certain features of the universe that seem fine-tunedlike its homogeneity, or its flatness," says Steinhardt, now at Princeton University, "but you do it by a mechanism that itself requires fine tuning. And that concern, which was there from the beginning, remains now." As Albrecht, now at the University of California at Davis, puts it, inflation is not yet a theory: "It is more of a nice idea at this point." "
It depends on what the definition of the day for "Universe" is.
And we have here a great example of why I’m a life scientist, and not a physicist. Physics is just plain weird, once you get outside of the human scale (”classical physics”) that we are all familiar with.
It’s probably naive to think this, but if one is thinking about ways to test the hypothesis that the universe is inside a black hole, could one start with the observation that we look out at night and see a black universe? All those stars out there generate a LOT of light—light doesn’t just disappear. But if the universe is inside a black hole, which by definition absorbs light, doesn’t that explain where the light goes?
Any physicists out there are welcome to critique my idea (and tell me where I went horribly astray).
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