Black holes are cosmic vacuum cleaners – massive bodies so large that not even light can escape from them.
Most people imagine black holes Do nothing but sit there and devour bits of gas or dust.
But could black holes really have a more interesting inner life? Could it explode, for example? If an “explosion” is a “sudden and brief release of massive amounts of energy” then the answer is unequivocally yes. And the best part is that they can explode in many interesting ways, either by detonating themselves or in the environments next to them.
There is only one way black holes can explode. The process behind this is related to the fact that black holes are not completely black, which was discovered by the famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in 1976.
“In classical physics, nothing can come out of a hole,” Sameer Mathur, a physicist at Ohio State University, told Live Science in an email. But Hawking found it with Quantum mechanics, the hole slowly leaks its energy to infinity by emitting low-energy radiation; This is called Hawking radiation.
Related: Are black holes wormholes?
As long as the black hole does not absorb new matter, it will slowly lose mass when it emits Hawking radiation. However, Hawking radiation is slowly emitted. An ordinary black hole with a mass a few times the mass of the Sun emits about one photon or beam of light each year. At this rate, it would take a typical black hole 10^100 years to completely evaporate.
But Hawking realized that smaller black holes evaporate more quickly. As the black hole gets smaller and smaller, it emits more and more radiation. In the last moments of its life, a black hole emits so much radiation, so fast that it effectively acts like a bomb, releasing a torrent of radiation and high-energy particles.
If black holes are small (about the size of a land) that formed in the early universe, it would take a few billion years to evaporate, which means that these “primordial” black holes, if any, would have exploded throughout the universe now.
So far astronomers haven’t found any evidence of primordial black holes exploding, but it’s possible that they were there.
Black holes explode with another type of explosion that is found nowhere else in the universe, thanks to the fact that they rotate. Rotating black holes — also named Kerr black holes in honor of New Zealand mathematician Roy Kerr, who first discovered how they work — create an ergosphere around the event horizons. The ergosphere is an extended region of space where nothing can remain stationary. Anything falling toward a rotating black hole begins to spin around it when the particle enters the atmosphere.
Rotation Spare time Photons can also be drawn around a black hole. If there are enough photons, they can bounce off each other or bounce off any stray particles. Sometimes the bounce causes photons to escape from the atmosphere. But other times, the bounce causes the photons to fall deeper into the black hole, where they gain energy. They can then propagate into a higher orbit again, and then fall again.
With each iteration of the process, and each trip around the black hole, the photon gains energy. This process is called “ultra-radiation”. If the photon was finally released, it would have an enormous amount of energy compared to when it first started its journey.
If enough photons are involved in the process, they can all explode at once with incredible energy, becoming what’s known as a “black hole bomb”. Although the black hole itself does not explode, this ultra-radiative effect once again shows how powerful black holes can affect their environment.
Disks and planes
The most common way that black holes cause explosions is not through self-destruction, but through the sheer force of the immense force of gravity. Supermassive black holes are located in the centers of galaxies, and sometimes large masses of matter, such as stars, pass very close. When that happens, the star is torn to shreds by tidal effects, and this rupture process releases an explosive burst of energy. Astronomers on Earth can attest to this release of energy as a short but intense glow X ray And the Gamma rays radiation.
Besides shredding stars, these giant black holes often collect swarms of constantly swirling matter around them in giant accretion disks. Accumulation disks reach temperatures of up to four billion degrees, making them the brightest objects in the universe — a single glowing disk can eclipse more than a million galaxies at once.
At their strongest, it ends up being electric discs and magnetic fields It directs some of the disk material around black holes outward in the form of long, thin jets of up to tens of thousands of light years.
While these planes are not technically explosions, they are still very intense.
Originally published on Live Science.