Not much pressure, to be sure – but it's a finding that's fascinatingly consistent with Stephen Hawking's prediction that black holes emit radiation and therefore not only have a temperature, but slowly shrink over time, in the absence of accretion.
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"If you consider black holes within only general relativity , one can show that they have a singularity in their centres where the laws of physics as we know them must break down.
"It is hoped that when quantum field theory is incorporated into general relativity, we might be able to find a new description of black holes."
When they made their discovery, Calmet and his University of Sussex colleague, physicist and astronomer Folkert Kuipers, were performing calculations using quantum field theory to try and probe the event horizon of a black hole.
Specifically, they were trying to understand the fluctuations at the event horizon of a black hole that correct its entropy , a measure of the progression from order to disorder.
"The pin-drop moment when we realised that the mystery result in our equations was telling us that the black hole we were studying had a pressure – after months of grappling with it – was exhilarating," Kuipers said .
It's unclear what's causing the pressure, and according to the team's calculations, it's very small. Moreover, it's negative – expressed as -2E-46 bar for a black hole the mass of the Sun, compared to Earth's 1bar at sea level.
BHIP is a theory that discusses how when information in the form of particles goes past the event horizon, there is a possibility that the information is destroyed. This is problematic is because if this paradox is true, then everything we know about physics is wrong.
However, there are several solutions to the paradox. One of these solutions is that information could be projected on the surface of the black hole. This gives way for simulation theories to come because if 3D particles could be projected onto a 2D surface, it means we could be living in a Hologram.
That is a LOT to take in...
According to physicists, quantum particles are responsible for three forces of nature:
The fourth force of nature, gravity, is till now assumed to not originate from quantum particles, but from the curves in the space-time continuum, according to the celebrated physician Albert Einstein.
Scientists know four forces - things that attract or repel one object from another. The strong force and the weak force operate only inside the centres of atoms. The electromagnetic force rules objects with excess charge, and gravity directs objects with mass.
People have long speculated about gravity. While ancient Greek and Indian philosophers observed gravity, it was the insight from Isaac Newton that made it possible to measure and predict the phenomenon.
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