Like part of a cosmic Russian doll, our universe may be nested inside a black hole that is itself part of a larger universe.
In turn, all the black holes found so far in our universe—from the microscopic to the supermassive—may be doorways into alternate realities.
According to a mind-bending new theory, a black hole is actually a tunnel between universes—a type of wormhole. The matter the black hole attracts doesn’t collapse into a single point, as has been predicted, but rather gushes out a “white hole” at the other end of the black one, the theory goes.
In a recent paper published in the journal Physics Letters B, Indiana University physicist Nikodem Poplawski presents new mathematical models of the spiraling motion of matter falling into a black hole. His equations suggest such wormholes are viable alternatives to the “space-time singularities” that Albert Einstein predicted to be at the centers of black holes.
According to Einstein’s equations for general relativity, singularities are created whenever matter in a given region gets too dense, as would happen at the ultradense heart of a black hole.
Einstein’s theory suggests singularities take up no space, are infinitely dense, and are infinitely hot—a concept supported by numerous lines of indirect evidence but still so outlandish that many scientists find it hard to accept.
If Poplawski is correct, they may no longer have to.
According to the new equations, the matter black holes absorb and seemingly destroy is actually expelled and becomes the building blocks for galaxies, stars, and planets in another reality.
Wormholes Solve Big Bang Mystery?
The notion of black holes as wormholes could explain certain mysteries in modern cosmology, Poplawski said.
For example, the big bang theory says the universe started as a singularity. But scientists have no satisfying explanation for how such a singularity might have formed in the first place.
If our universe was birthed by a white hole instead of a singularity, Poplawski said, “it would solve this problem of black hole singularities and also the big bang singularity.”
Wormholes might also explain gamma ray bursts, the second most powerful explosions in the universe after the big bang.
Gamma ray bursts occur at the fringes of the known universe. They appear to be associated with supernovae, or star explosions, in faraway galaxies, but their exact sources are a mystery.
Poplawski proposes that the bursts may be discharges of matter from alternate universes. The matter, he says, might be escaping into our universe through supermassive black holes—wormholes—at the hearts of those galaxies, though it’s not clear how that would be possible.
“It’s kind of a crazy idea, but who knows?” …