Stephen Hawking once theorized that black holes would emit a stream of electromagnetic radiation named, what else, Hawking Radiation. However, in the 35 years since Hawking made his prediction, no one has observed the phenomena. Now, a team of Israeli scientists are working on a way to make their own Hawking Radiation by creating an artificial black hole in their lab.
As reported in a recent paper on the physics website arxiv.org, the scientists simulated the black hole by sending sonic waves through a form of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). BEC is a gas the exists only at the freezing temperatures near absolute zero, and the same equations that explain how sound moves through the condensate also describe how gravity effects light.
Using specially selected sounds waves, the scientists created a region within the BEC from which light could not escape. This is the first time anyone has succeeded in creating a so-called "sonic black hole", although researchers have been trying for almost 30 years. Theoretically, the same phenomenon that causes real black holes to emit Hawking Radiation will also cause the artificial black hole to emit them, too.
And while researchers have yet to observe any Hawking Radiation, they are clearly well on their way. Using sound to create a black hole? Chris Cornell would be proud.
[via Technology Review]
Wouldn't it be cool if Hawking Radiation was in the form of gravitons. It would revolutionize what we think of black holes and perhaps give a practical use for BEC. Another use I have thought of would be a loop of BEC to store super high intensity laser energy for long periods of time this would be the power source for a laser pistol :D
Not only that, lets store the suns rays for use at solar power plants over night. That is if we can find a way to keep near absolute zero temps with little power consumption.
I know very little regarding black holes beyond what I have read in Brian Greene's popular books. My question is, does this mean scientists now have a way to create artificial gravity?
I would hope they would want to know how to destroy it too, because if they create something they can't stop accidently... that would just be right out of a bad sci-fi flick. I personally wouldn't want to be in that film.
No, No, No. This is not a gravitational black hole, meaning that it does not attract mass. Instead, it only absorbs light and keeps it there. There is no bending of space-time or strong gravitational fields. This experiment is perfectly safe.
THESE BLACK HOLES ARE TOTALLY ACOUSTIC. LIGHT AND GRAVITY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. Other than by analogy.
An acoustic black hole is a region which sound can enter but not escape. Thus like a astrophysical black hole information that can be conveyed by sound cannot classically escape. This is accomplished by setting up a region of super sonic flow in a BEC. Once a phonon, a particle of sound, enters this supersonic flow it cannot escape into the sub sonic flow much the way light cannot escape the gravity of a astrophysical black hole.
A Bose Einstein Condensate is not just any liquid cooled to a low temperature either, in practice it is specially prepared matter. Most matter is made of fermion's, Bose Einstein Condensate is made of bosons. In certain bound states two fermions can act like one boson. Bosons can all occupy the same energy state in a system. Hence a liquid of bosons can cool to a temperature closer to absolute zero than any other ordinary matter.
Killjoy... anyhow Light travels sloooooww in a BEC for the laser idea I was not relying on it acting as a black hole but rather just to slow down the laser so as to prolong its life. And who knows if black holes don't generate gravitons as radiation and not just from the mass contained therein.
Authors present this work as invention and the first research of Inflatable Space Tower and created the big “sensation” in press and popular magazines.
It is known many early scientific works which offered, developed and researched this idea more DETAILS then noted work. For example:
1) Bolonkin A.A.,(2002), “Optimal Inflatable Space Towers of High Height”, COSPAR-02 C1.10035-02, 34th Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). The Wold Space Congress – 2002, 10 -19 Oct. 2002, Houston, Texas, USA.
2) Bolonkin A.A.,“Optimal Inflatable Space Towers with 3 -100 km Height”, JBIS, Vol.56,No.3/4, pp.87-97, 2003.
3) Book “Non-Rocket Space Launch and Flight”, by A.Bolonkin, Elsevier. 2006, Ch.4;
4) Book “Macro-Engineering”, Ch.8, Springer, 2006;
5) Book “New Concepts, Ideas and Innovation in Aerospace”, NOVA, Ch.9, 11, 2008.
6) Book “Macro-Projects: Environment and Technology”, by A.Bolonkin, R.Cathcart, NOVA, 2008, Ch.12.
Same researches are presented in many Conferences 2002-2006 (see, for example, Conferences AIAA, aiaa.org search “Bolonkin”) or site Cornel University arxiv.org search “Bolonkin”, or site Bolonkin.narod.ru/p65.htm .
Some articles about Space Towers were presented in Acta Astronautica journal some years ago For example “Optimal Solid Space Tower”, by A.A. Bolonkin, #4235, 2005-2006.
Quine’s work repeats the many results of the noted works but authors do not reference any of them in Reference section and Introduction.
Ignoring contribution of preceding authors is a violation of scientific ethic.
imongi asked a good question. One of the most important concepts one learns in quantum mechanics is the duality of nature along with the fact that quantum mechanics is but a crude model to describe phenomena that we cannot fully characterize.
The great one, TheInspiredOne dismissed this with a simple but incomplete statement that appeared to say there was no theoretical possibility of danger. TheInspiredOne is either unawares of the true complexity of these phenomena or wishes to tamp down any safety concern with incomprehensible infantile gibberish.
The principal of duality of nature is that light acts at times like a photon or particle and in other instances like a wave, and always contains energy. The idea that the black hole is only absorbing light but not matter is not a certain consulation if one considers that the black hole could be absorbing energy and once it obtains sufficient energy for all we know it can start absorbing electrons and protons. Oh I understand the theory that photons are massless but do we know that this cannot be intraconverted into mass within a black hole. Afterall it is theorized that there are high energy ejections from black holes that we do not understand, hawking radiation being one.
I find all this cavalier experimentation into the unknown area of black holes disturbing. As a student of nuclear and chemical sciences in my past I am not ignorant of the principals. If anything I learned the fraility of our theories related to the subvisual world and at times how we can be so certain of an outcome only to find that we do not understand.
There is no way that the defenders of science for science sake can hide behind the often bandied about rational for the Cern Collider safety, that this experiment is merely recreating natural processes that go on all the time. A premise that seems a little thin to me even with the Cern Collider. In this case where in nature does a Bose-einstien condensate exist on earth?
I know my post will be rejected as a nut. That is the reason I feel compelled to post. That is to provide a balancing view of safety that seems to be lost when considering experiments with black holes, and anything, bless his sole to do with Mr. Hawkins theories. What I see instead of a view towards safety is a cavalier attitude that those who would argue for go slow approach as luddites or worse yet that somehow are holding up our modern society. Quite the contrary, there is nothing to gain from these experiments other than bragging rights.
Black holes cannot be observed directly and thus pose a particular rational safety concern that other nuclear research does not pose. It is was not too long ago that the esteemed community did not think that black holes could exist at the center of a galaxy, now they say there is one in each galaxy center that is organized like ours. Who knows next possibly someone will figure out that stars are produced by black holes rather than being consumed by them. Stranger things have happened in science when considering things so small, or so far away and so difficult to prove.
There is a rational and reasonable argument that all black hole research should be stopped until which time we understand them better. There is no rush to do these experiments. There is not even any economic benefit, just bragging rights to be achieved. If these scientists need to show their moxy it would be better for them to paint themselves up and install penis support bones, they would not be doing any harm to anyone else this way. Better yet they could be studying ways to make our lives better by doing some material research.
if Hfarmer is right and in fact the phenomenon created is an acooustic black hole then let the experiments proceed.
Well I'm all for scientific research and progress can only be made by conducting experiments. I do feel that while science must progress, just because you can do a thing... does not mean that you should. I would hope that all scientists have enough good sense to not be blinded by the possibility of a new discovery. We must remember that the human race would need to survive that discovery, to benefit from it. The hydrogen bomb was bad enough, now Black holes? Time to take a step back and put a moratorium on dangerous experiments? Maybe, or possibly the Scientific community could begin to police itself. Personally I would rather see us police ourselves; rather than let the government become involved. Government involvement would be a bigger travestry than the fiasco of the Stem Cell debate.
I dont have any input on the subject, but I do have some issues with the comments posted and the mood I get from these replies:
TX77092 says "I know my post will be rejected as a nut. That is the reason I feel compelled to post."
Are you saying that you posted so people will think you are a nut?
garthog42 says "Time to take a step back and put a moratorium on dangerous experiments?"
Ok, so there seems to be a sense of fear in the "Black Hole" mystery.
If testing black holes is dangerous, and it could end the world or something of the sorts, that is a scary thought. However, just because we say we arent going to test this kind of stuff doesnt mean we wont. You know a goverment agency or private group will keep doing it in secret anyways. There is too much to gain in having knowlege that others dont.
If you dont believe me, then do you honestly think that if the Manhatten Project was suspended, then we would have never had atomic bombs? The key is not to stop the science (and create a freakish, nerd driven scientific black market), but to ensure the funding comes from a trusted organization with ideals that align with the general scientific community. This will provide that information (which is out there anyways, we just havent learned it yet) gets to the right places, and that nut jobs with money dont get it first and put us in real danger because we were too afraid in the first place.
"There is not even any economic benefit, just bragging rights to be achieved."
I disagree. It's about scientific research, and progress. Research in one field, leads to discoveries in another. Just take a look at the space program and all the research associated with it. There are thousands of things that people use in their every day lives that were a direct result from research done by nasa/space program.
I think this Recent test was a great leap in science research But..... The one thing they probably left out or forgot is , this type of science is very new to mankind when it comes to testing it could be potentially dangerous to mankind, but since the scientists were able to produce one then by all means they should continue.
by all means continue?
When potentially dangerous to mankind as a species?
Seems like a death wish to me.
I can hope that PopSci got this one wrong and this is a simulated black hole.
jmfb_k7, it is addressing the obvious but I am not posting to get people to think I am a nut. I am posting because there are lots of people out there who are labeling anyone with rational safety concerns concerning black holes as nuts. Including the editors of this magazine.
Otherwise jmfb_k7 you bring up some perfectly rational and reasonable points. To my knowledge these points are not commonly brought up as rational for a particular group to pursue this research.
I do however debate that spin-off benefits can be achieved without engaging in research with potential to end our species. We can research some less dangerous things like sending man to mars.
For the record I am not opposed to black hole research only that which does not have a rigorous safety plan to keep the risks less than 10 EEX -12 or lesser. And I am familiar with horseshit rigor estimates made by bullshitters hiding behind their Phd's. When estimating the risk of species elimination we should demand that these estimates stand the light of day.
If you're really concerned with our safety you would be encouraging research and experimentation into these potentially dangerous phenomena. Most things out there are a lot more dangerous if you don't know about them, are unfamiliar with them, or don't know how to use them properly. Creating small versions of these phenomena in the lab is the safest way to research and learn about them and possibly make some useful discoveries along the way.
bdhoro87, I think you miss the point terribly. The percieved risk is that to create a small black hole will simply grow into a large black hole. That is the reaction will run away and grow to engulf the planet, our solar system and nearby stars.
What seems rational with this risk is that the researchers be required to demonstrate with a very high degree of uncertainty that the reaction will not run away. Once this is demonstrated then your idea to simply make a small one is rational and safe.
However what is missing in this debate is the definitive proof these small reactions will not grow into larger reactions. It is elusive at best to provide this proof.
I meant to say "to demonstrate with a very high degree of CERTAINTY".
I may sound naive, stereotypical, or just ignorant, but I find the idea that Israelis working on such a dark experimentation is rather disturbing. We may never know the true intentions of the outcomes. This can be a newborn era of weapons of dark distructions!
Millenium, if Hfarmer is right and there is an error in the Pop Sci story then not to worry.
However the problem of safe science knows no ideological or religious bounds. To single out the isrealis is not any more fair than singling out the russians, chinese or Bin Ladin himself.
I may have missed your point, but thats because I think your argument is wrong. How about you prove with a high degree of certainty that there will be growth into a destructive black hole, and then be more cautious. The reason these experiments that some people who don't know any better think are "dangerous" is that the opposition doesn't have good data or a good argument.
I heard from many protesters of the CERN that there is a 50% chance that it will create a destructive black hole. The reasoning they use is that there are 2 possible outcomes - creation of a destructive black hole vs. not creating one, and anybody who knows about statistics knows that when there's 2 outcomes the chances of each occurring are 50%.
When someone actually comes up with some data and some proof that there is a danger, I'll discourage experimentation as well. But the only way to get that information will be to do some experiments.
And Yes millenium you do sound naive, stereotypical, ignorant, and I think you forgot ...stupid.
bdhoro87, Your challenge to put proof of safety on the outsider flips upside down the normal risk/reward calculations/responsibilities that underpins all commercial nuclear and viral medical industry for that matter. Either you are proposing that we abandon our safety regimens that are adhered to by all first world countries or you did not understand the significance of what you wrote.
Clearly coin flip probabilities are too simplistic to have reasonable value in these complex systems.
It is true as with all science there are a few on the lunatic fringe that oppose things that they do not understand only because they do not understand them. Typically there are non-sense or limited sense arguments used to justify these positions. However to ignore rational debate and sensible positions just because there are some nuts out there is simply not reasonable.
I think you are being unfair to millenium. Racial prejudice exists in all of us to some degree. To not understand this and to not sympathize with the sickness that millenium appears to have is not humane in my view.
I never said to put the burden of proof on outsiders. I'm just saying I haven't heard anybody within the respected scientific community challenging these experiments, its only the media and politicians who see the danger. So the people who know the science thinks its safe, but the politicians and journalists who don't know anything about the subject say its too dangerous to experiment with. If I heard rational debate opposing me I would listen, but they are few and far between.
What did I say that's unfair? I don't sympathize for stupid, its not a sickness or a disease. He chose to be uneducated and will likely remain that way.
I have a few courses in nuclear science and chemistry under my belt. I also have worked in the nuclear industry at a former weapons complex. I am not impressed with what I have seen with regards to safety of the industry when the industry is out on the leading edge of discovery. I have even spoken with some collegues on this and some with a bit more knowledge than me also echoed the thought that theoretically that the systems are safe, if the theories are correct. The critical thing missing is proof of the theories that prove safety.
So the is that we are using unproven theories to prove safety. If the theories we are going to test are wrong then the experiment can be unsafe. If however we do not run the experiments envisioned we will not know of the experiments are safe or not.
Now we could demand that safety be proven separately from the theories being tested. This would limit experimentation or may take more time to get to build the appropriate knowledge that does not require the experiment itself to prove theory that is being tested. I was also told by these armchair theorists that it may be nearly impossible to estimate the risks for these particular types of experiments with the level of precision that is codefied into nuclear safety program standards.
Now these were armchair discussions; but did not leave me with a 100.00000000000% good feeling nonetheless. FYI the order of magnitude of safety precision is a judgemental factor that is applied to based on best judgement of the risk. Elimination of the species is to me the highest risk so I place a much higher level of safety precision to what I consider to be safe than say if we have a risk to incinerate NYC.
What would make me happy is to see a clear volume written on the subject. I would out of curiosity block out a week or two to read it.
The other problem is how scientific group think works. A wonderful book/study on this subject was published about the theories regarding the origins of the moon. The study was prior to and directly after the moon landings. The sociological study concluded that too many people considered pedigree and pedigree only when making decisions about theories. The evidence was often overlooked in favor of the researchers pedigrees.
You guys might want to chill out on the paranoia. Does anybody even read the source of this material or do they just go shooting off at the mouth at the first hint of danger? It states quite specifically in the origin of this article that "In this sonic black hole, sound waves, rather than light waves, cannot escape the event horizon." PopSci just got the translation wrong somehow from english to english... The potential for this is still amazing, despite it not being a gravitational black hole. Imagine supersonic airliners that don't leave a sonic boom!
Knowing that you can create them, there is no harm in making sure you can contain/neutralize them.
What's the risk? That the sonic black hole will grow and consume all sounds, and soon we won't be able to hear anything!
bdhoro87 that 50% chance of it happening and 50% chance of it not was definitely from the Colbert Report dude
Anyone reading this that doesn't think this will soon be a 'null bomb' just by adding mass and light? Neato. More holes in the Earth to bury brown people in.