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    Nearby black hole, a doorway to getting ripped to shreds, not another universe.
    By Hontas Farmer | February 14th 2013 05:58 AM | 8 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Certain media sources have with the announcement of a possible black hole 26,000 light years away at W49B, mentioned the possibility of a wormhole. (I'm looking at you LA Times.) As a fan of many sci-fi programs which featured some variety of wormhole, I would welcome that. As a student of actual physics I don't think that such a thing can exist based on everything we think we know about black holes and quantum mechanics.


    Classically black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that space and time become twisted beyond recognition. Effectively you “fall” into the black hole in the same way that we all move forward in time. One could no more escape from the black hole's interior than they could escape aging. That is assuming one could survive the process of being pulled into the black hole. This is a process which would result in being pulled apart atom by atom and then crushed into a tiny singularity at the very center of the hole.


    Some theorist speculate that through various quantum devices we could circumvent these difficulties. There is still much to learn about quantum gravity. However, based on known physics, including known quantum mechanics it ain't gonna happen. Even if there is a way to create a worm hole, it would not occur naturally.

    So if there is a wormhole 26,000 light years away we had better hope whoever created it stays 26,000 light years away from us. They would be people we don't want to mess with.  

    Comments

    If a black hole existed 2600 light years away wouldn't we already be moving toward it because of the magnitude gravity that it has? The whole concept of a black hole seems too unrealistic to be reality because if something had that much gravity that it wouldn't even let light escape than it could do major damage to the universe and could change the interaction of different elements. Its hard to grasp such a abstract idea.

    Hfarmer
    No, we would not be moving towards it already.  A black hole is no more massive than the object which collapses to form it.  In fact, the supernovae which create these objects result in a good deal of stellar mass being thrown far away from the hole forming at the core of the star.   That is why in the images of the region in question their is a nebula surrounding the suspected hole. 
    Remember unlike the cartoon of a black hole as "sucking" in everything that we all see so much of.  They are only as attractive as the gravity due to their mass.  

    What does make them special is that when you get too close, you can no longer escape. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    vongehr
    That is assuming one could survive the process of being pulled into the black hole. This is a process which would result in being pulled apart atom by ato
    Hontas - it is enough that people who do not know better write such utter bullshit. It is beyond me why you would write such complete nonsense. Delete this post and stop writing altogether if you don't care to spend more than three minutes on a piece! This is far worse than the LA times could ever do!
    Hfarmer
    Sacha, if you don't think that being pulled into a black hole would result in being destroyed then please feel free to find out and prove me wrong by jumping into one. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    vongehr
    pulled into = crossing event horizon
    "result in" = dumbass trying hard to keep face
    Conclusion: have fun kid
    Dubious Virtue
    For a minute I thought I was on Reddit!

    For people like myself who are interested in topics like this but lack a background understanding is there any chance of a more polite discussion outlining both sides?
    vongehr
    Sorry Michael; my lack of enlightenment; I become still angry if people who know better nevertheless write nonsense, here in the very same article they complain about other outlets.  It is what is rotten about this hip internet science outreach - they negatively identify through claiming how silly all the others are, the old media and the religious, but they are just the new idiots on the block.  The new emperors new clothes - naked2.0.

    A black hole is defined as a region of no escape, and falling into a sufficiently large one feels like nothing special - nothing is "twisted beyond recognition" or "pulled apart atom by atom" due to entering the BH (and that is what he implies, though the English is so poor that he can hide now behind "result in" - but 99% of lay persons take the wrong interpretation away because "survive the process of being pulled" has the same "pulled").  Nor, by the way, is there a singularity, which is a mathematical entity telling us that general relativity cannot fully describe BH because of quantum mechanics.

    Hontas is not LA times material fearing for their jobs if articles are not sufficiently sexed up with sensational stuff, and has studied the subject and knows that what he writes here is misleading, which is the thing that gets me about science bloggers!  You say reddit - but reddit teens have an excuse, namely not having studied the shit.

    Hfarmer
    Sacha, I know there are theories out there which say that wormholes might be possible.  However those are almost pure speculation.  I would like it if the public got to know the accepted theories a little then got to know their sexier sisters and brothers.
    As for your politeness.  Let me just say as follows.  You are far more polite than some of the people I deal with when it comes to a disagreement. 

    When I think of an insult from you or insult from Motl, I think of what Ben Franklin purportedly said to John Adams regarding the English.  "The English love an insult. It's their only test of a man's sincerity."   Perhaps, it's a cultural thing for you guys.  



    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.