Do white holes ex­ist?

All About Space - - Harpercollins -

there is a pos­si­bil­ity. Black holes, on the other hand, we know are out there for cer­tain. these dark twins of white holes are like grav­i­ta­tional quick­sand: they pull things to­wards them in the same way that all mat­ter does, ap­pear­ing to be noth­ing spe­cial, like quick­sand. how­ever, when you come too close you dis­cover that the col­lected stuff has bent space and time so much that there is no es­cape.

if you can imag­ine the op­po­site of quick­sand, a nor­mal-look­ing patch of earth that lets noth­ing in, but can emit what­ever it con­tains, you’re on track to imag­in­ing a white hole. they also grav­i­ta­tion­ally at­tract but, un­like black holes, you can’t get close. no mat­ter what, things only come out of a white hole.

For much of the 20th cen­tury, physi­cists doubted the ex­is­tence of black holes. in­stead it turns out that black holes are more abun­dant and more var­ied than any­one could have guessed. the great­est black hole mys­tery may even tie black and white holes to­gether: how do they end their lives? re­cent ideas sug­gest that black holes could die by quan­tum me­chan­i­cally me­ta­mor­phos­ing into sym­met­ri­cally ex­plod­ing white holes. through seek­ing signs of these ex­plo­sions, we hope to learn whether white

holes ex­ist.

White holes are cur­rently only the­o­rised to ex­ist

Pro­fes­sor Hal Hag­gard is an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Bard Col­lege, New York

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