What was thought to be a black hole so far may be ``a black hole that looks like a black hole but is actually a different existence''

A black hole is a celestial body with such a high density and mass that not even light can escape, formed by the collapse of a huge star that cannot withstand its own gravity. However, a new paper by theoretical physicists at Johns Hopkins University claims that what was thought to be a black hole may actually be something else that looks like a black hole. .

Imaging topological solitons: The microstructure behind the shadow

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Albert Einstein , in his general theory of relativity , predicted the existence of black holes that form when massive stars collapse. Although the existence of black holes was initially questioned, the existence of black holes is recognized by many scientists based on recent observation results.

In 2019,a black hole was photographed for the first time in history, and in 2022, an image of a black hole in the same galaxy as the Earth was released.

An image of a black hole that exists in the same galaxy as the earth is taken for the first time - GIGAZINE

However, there are still deep-rooted voices that question the existence of black holes. The main problem is that although the general theory of relativity states that a black hole has a gravitational singularity where its density and gravity are infinite, there is a singularity that physically has infinite density in outer space. It is considered impossible.

Based on this idea, ``There is no celestial body called a black hole in reality, but there is another celestial body that behaves like a black hole in observation.''

One of the theories that resolves the contradictions surrounding black holes and gravitational theory is string theory, which states that the particles that make up the universe are not 0-dimensional points, but actually vibrating 1-dimensional strings. Since these strings cannot vibrate in three-dimensional space, string theory predicts the existence of another dimension compacted at the quantum scale.

The research team claims that the existence of an extra dimension shrunk on this incredibly small scale causes a twist in the space-time structure called 'topological soliton (phase defect)'. Topological solitons are stable defects in the space-time structure that do not require matter or other forces to exist.

When the research team investigated the behavior of light passing near a topological soliton, the topological soliton, which bends spacetime, affects light in much the same way as a black hole, and the light bends around the topological soliton and returns to the center. I found that the part looks like a dark shadow. Therefore, there is a possibility that what was supposed to be a 'black hole' observed so far was actually a topological soliton.

However, since topological solitons are not singularities, there is no event horizon where light and electromagnetic waves cannot escape, and it is believed that they can escape even if they approach.

In addition, topological solitons are very hypothetical entities based on string theory, and at the time of writing the article, no black holes have been found that are close enough to the earth to be sufficiently researched. However, if we can discover the observational difference between topological solitons and black holes, it may open the way to test string theory itself.

in Science, Posted by log1h_ik