Scientists create a sonic black hole in the lab, confirming Stephen Hawking’s theory

Scientists create a sonic black hole in the lab, confirming Stephen Hawking's theory

Israeli physicists have created a black hole analog – instead of being a gravitational fortress that allows light to escape, this particular object is a sonic black hole that does not allow sound waves to escape. In the process, the researchers measured long-term theoretical Hawking radiation, with significant consequences for physics.

A black hole is an area of ​​space-time where even light cannot escape once it crosses an irreversible stage known as the event horizon. What seems new to you, about 50 years ago, was put forward by Stephen Hawking as a more subtle view that could create light for black holes as well.

According to Hawking, black holes can spontaneously emit photons on the event horizon, thanks to transient quantum fluctuations known as virtual particles. Despite their name, virtual particles are actually real particles – they only exist for a short time.

Virtual particles appear in pairs, and in most cases they eliminate each other. However, Hawking suggested that if they appeared near a black hole, one particle in one pair could absorb the black hole, while the other escapes into space.

The flow of these particles is called stationary hawking radiation, but because this phenomenon is so subtle, it is virtually impossible for our instruments to detect it. But since there are some thoughts outside the box, one can gain insight into this vague cosmic phenomenon.

To study Hawking’s radiation, scientists at the Techno-Israel Institute of Technology designed a scale-down version of a black hole or analog in the lab. An example of a black hole analog can be found in your own home: a bathtub vortex. The water flowing through the sewer can be compared to the black hole collection of matter – but this was not used by Israeli physicists.

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Instead, the team cooled the 8,000 rubidium atoms to almost zero and trapped them with a laser beam. The almost static gas was in a strange state known as the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC), in which the atoms are packed so densely that they act like a super atom and act uniformly.

The second laser beam generated a potential energy flow, which caused the BEC gas to flow like water flowing into a waterfall. The boundary of the region where half of the gas flows faster than the speed of sound, and the other half is the event horizon of the sonic black hole flowing slowly.

Instead of a pair of spontaneously formed photons in gas, researchers are looking for a pair of phones – quantum sound wave particles. Half of the gas flow beyond the event horizon, the phones are trapped at the speed of the flowing gas. Just as light particles passing through the event horizon are trapped in a black hole, the phone cannot return to the other side of the event horizon of the sonic black hole.

“Basically, the event horizon is the outer sphere of a black hole, and inside it is a small sphere called the inner horizon,” said Prof. Jeff Steinhover said in a statement. “If you fall through the inner horizon, you are still trapped in a black hole, but you do not feel the strange physics of being in at least one black hole. The smaller the size of the gravity, the more ‘normal’ you will be in the atmosphere, so you will no longer feel it. ”

Analog black hole created by researchers. Attribution: Kolobov et al.

To confirm Hawking’s radiation, physicists led by Steinhover took 97,000 repetitions of the experiment over 124 consecutive days. Fortunately, they ran out of patience.

“Prof. The results of Steinhower’s experiments are very important and interesting, ”said Prof. Reynolds, a general relativist and black hole expert in the field of techno physics. Amos Ori said in a statement.

Jeff measures the constant Hawking radiation emitted by a sonic black hole in line with Hawking’s theoretical prediction. It provides significant experimental support for Hawking’s analysis, gaining experimental recognition for the first time in Jeff’s experiments. ”

The experiments also revealed new insights that were not predicted during Hawking’s lifetime. After a while, the radiation emitted by the system began to intensify. Physicists explained in the journal that this was due to the development of excitation radiation following the formation of the inner horizon. Nature Physics.

“Our new long-term goal is to see what happens when Hawking goes beyond the approximate figures used, in which Hawking radiation is quantum, but spatial is classical. In other words, we assume that the analog black hole is composed of atoms such as points. ”

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