Black holes bring a new surprise to science: they exert pressure


September 16, 2021 01:09 GMT

It turns out that they are more complex thermodynamic systems than previously thought.

Physicists at the University of Sussex (UK) have shown that black holes exert pressure on their environment. The result was published in the journal physical review d last week.

The study authors made the discovery when they looked at an extra number that appeared in their equations for the quantum-gravity corrections for the black hole’s entropy, according to Karl Schwarzschild’s theory, which has neither electric charge nor angular momentum.

When the strange result of the equations emerged as a topic in the middle of a Christmas talk last year, scientists realized that this did indeed reflect pressure-force behavior, and they later confirmed it with additional calculations that showed quantum gravity can compress black holes.

This discovery marks another milestone in the study of black holes, since Stephen Hawking suggested it in 1974 emit heat radiation. Before Hawking’s theory, these holes were thought to be inert and represented the final stage of a dying heavy star. Now physicists at the University of Sussex have shown that in addition to having a property like temperature, they also exert pressure.

Hawking’s historical intuition that black holes are not black, but have a radiation spectrum very similar to that of a black body, making them an ideal laboratory for investigating the interplay between quantum mechanics, gravity, and thermodynamics. pointed out Physicist Xavier Calmette, one of the study’s authors.

“If we consider black holes only within general relativity, it can be shown that they have singularities at their centers, where the laws of physics, as we know them, must be brokenCalmette continued, who predicted that one day — “when quantum field theory is integrated into general relativity” — we will have a new description of these strange cosmic objects.

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The scientist added that his work is a “step in that direction”, and it “opens up multiple new possibilities, including the study of astrophysics, particle physics and quantum physics.”

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Lovell Loxley

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