New Theory Suggests Black Holes Are Fueling Dark Energy
Black holes suck, but they blew the minds of space scientists after leading them to a groundbreaking discovery.
Duncan Farrah, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii, said he and his team found proof that dark energy expands the universe.
More importantly, he said that “black holes are the source of dark energy.” It is the answer that cosmologists and theoretical physicists have searched for more than 20 years.
The new theory about dark energy and black holes
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We would have to discuss a bit of space knowledge before we tackle this new theory. You may have learned about how the universe constantly expands in science class.
However, it has black holes, areas of extreme gravitational pull that come from dead stars. That force is so strong that it can even pull light into itself!
How can the universe continue to expand if black holes constantly suck in everything? Why hasn’t it collapsed into nothingness?
That is the question that has perplexed scientists since the 1990s. Eventually, they came up with “dark energy,” an unknown force that explains why our universe still expands.
Albert Einstein came up with a similar idea called the “cosmological constant” in 1917. It kept the universe from collapsing and held his theory of general relativity together.
Later, he scrapped the term and called it his “greatest blunder.” A century later, researchers from the University of Hawaii might have discovered a definitive answer.
Farrah and his team compared two types of black holes. The first batch included black holes in young galaxies that were still forming stars.
Meanwhile, the second had black holes in massive but dormant galaxies that did not form stars anymore.
Black holes grow by sucking in nearby heavenly bodies, but they have nothing in older galaxies.
The researchers found the black holes in the second group were seven to 20 times larger than expected.
They concluded that another process could be enabling black holes to continue growing despite having no matter to consume.
They explained in their paper in The Astrophysical Journal that their findings make sense if black holes grow as the universe expands.
As a result, they believe black holes contain dark energy, so they could also be helping the universe grow.
What is the significance of this discovery?
Chris Pearson, a co-author of the study, explained how important their findings are.
“The importance of this work is that it’s taken the theories about black holes with dark energy cores and linked them for the first time to tangible observations of the universe.”
In other words, Farrah and his team discovered real-world proof of past theories. “These black holes are expected to grow in mass as the universe expands,” he added.
If they are correct, they might have gained insights into one of the most mysterious forces in the universe. Still, the findings would only gain acceptance after further study.