Articles & Reviews
Authored by RSF Research Staff
Stephen Hawking Goes Grey
The popular titles stating that Hawking says, “there are no black holes” are incorrect.
Recently there has been a fair amount of publicity about the publication of a transcription of a talk given by Stephen Hawking at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, in August 2013, where Hawking discusses his possible resolution to the so called Information Paradox and the firewall theorem. In the extremely oversimplified explanation given by several media commentators it has been said that Stephen Hawking has refuted the existence of Black Holes with misleading titles such as - Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes' (from Nature magazine one of the most prestigious scientific journals). In fact this was absolutely not the case. Hawking did not say there are no black holes – he merely suggested that the classical notion of a gravitational body in which light cannot escape may need to be revised. In his revision, there is still a black hole horizon, yet due to the extremely turbulent dynamics at the quantum level of the boundary, the persistence and structure of the horizon is uncertain. Just like the weather on Earth, which can be predicted yet always with some level of uncertainty, the apparent horizon is deterministic but chaotic. Thus the title of his talk “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes” (the transcription of which was posted on the arXiv server). Here Hawking redefines the event horizon as an apparent horizon saying, “This suggests that black holes should be redefined as metastable bound states of the gravitational field.” Hawking concludes that this effectively means that information can be emitted from the trans-horizon area of a black hole – making them more akin to “grey holes”, where information (matter and energy) can go in, and come out as well. This is an attempt to resolve the so called “information loss paradox” where all the information that falls into a black hole would be lost as the black hole evaporates to nothing, due to an earlier postulate by Hawking - known as Hawking radiation - which describes the emission of vacuum fluctuations “virtual particles” producing a slight loss of energy over time for the black hole, eventually leading to its complete evaporation.
Many have been asking, "How does Hawking's latest work affect Haramein's theory?" Also, "Is there any other recent interesting approaches to the information loss paradox?"
In 1997 Nassim Haramein at the Sequoia Symposium (an interdisciplinary scientific conference) first proposed that black holes should be redefined as white holes / black holes, where the white hole portion is concentric to a central black hole. He coined this new definition of a black hole - “Black Whole”, eventually leading to the publishing by Gaiam Corporation of a DVD on the subject entitled Black Whole. Haramein claimed that information (or the electromagnetic field) could escape the black hole to produce a white portion on its surface due to turbulence and twisting or torsion as a result of a spacetime torque generated by a density gradient of the quantum vacuum fluctuations producing Coriolis effect, "weather patterns", on the surface horizon. Haramein described this white hole / black hole relationship as a feedback structure between the electromagnetic field and the gravitational field which defined the topology of a dual torus structure, where radiation is most prominent at the equator and absorbed at the poles.
Eventually, this led Haramein in collaboration with Dr. E. A. Rauscher to describe these “weather pattern turbulences” on the horizon in the structure of spacetime, now known as the Haramein-Rauscher metric, in his paper on the origin of spin in 2005 (The Origin of Spin: A Consideration of Torque and Coriolis Forces in Einstein's Field Equations and Grand Unification Theory). Here spacetime is imbued with a fundamental torque due to a gradient in the structure of the vacuum generating gyroscopic and Coriolis dynamics on the horizon of black holes. In this paper Haramein states:
"Hence, with the inclusion of torque and Coriolis effects in Einstein’s field equations, the spacetime manifold correlates well with the observable mechanisms of black holes, galactic topology, supernova formation, stellar plasma dynamics and planetary science such as ring formation and the Coriolis structure of atmospheric dynamics."
Haramein’s model was received just as Nature magazine stated any unknown would have been treated for trying to redefine black holes -
"Most physicists foolhardy enough to write a paper claiming that 'there are no black holes' — at least not in the sense we usually imagine — would probably be dismissed as cranks." – Nature’s article on Hawking’s latest statements (linked above)
Never mind that later Haramein eventually redefined subatomic particles as mini black holes! Nevertheless, Haramein and Rauscher went on to describe the vacuum energy interaction with the plasma dynamics of the ergosphere of these black wholes in his paper, Collective Coherent Oscillation Plasma Modes in Surrounding Media of Black Holes and Vacuum Structure - Quantum Processes with Considerations of Spacetime Torque and Coriolis Forces which eventually led to his latest paper Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass.
In this latter publication he demonstrates unequivocally and quite simply that the gravitational well described as a “black hole” is actually the result of the collective coherent dynamics of the Planck vacuum energy at the quantum scale generating a holographic information boundary surface to volume ratio resulting in the exact gravitational mass of the object. In simple terms, describing gravity as the result of the discrete behavior of little “Planck grains” of spacetime, being like the molecules of water going down the drain, whereas Einstein described the surface of the water as the two-dimensional topology of spacetime curving producing the gravitational effect. He goes on to demonstrate that this new approach to gravity, in which the force is generated by discrete Planck fluctuations in the quantum vacuum, can be applied to quantum objects such as the proton, and yield not only their correct mass and exact radius, which he predicts and which was confirmed by experiments after the publication, but as well the exact gravitational coupling constant, demonstrating that the so called strong force confining protons together in the nuclei of atoms is actually this quantum gravitational force acting on subatomic particles.
One significant consequence of Haramein’s approach to quantum gravity, presented at the CASYS 2011 conference in Belgium, is that the discrete Planck units he utilizes to define the granular structure of spacetime at the quantum scale have a holographic nature similar to the holographic principle typically utilized in the current approaches to describe the entropy or temperature of a black hole and to attempt to resolve the information paradox. The holographic principle demonstrates that all the information in the interior of the black hole is holographically represented on its surface in terms of tiny Planck "grains". However, in Haramein’s model his calculations show that the amount of information, in terms of Planck spherical units, in the volume of a proton is equivalent to the information of all other protons in the Universe, therefore demonstrating that the mass/energy information of all protons is shared across all of their surfaces. This implies that the interior of subatomic black wholes are linked through tiny Planck wormhole networks entangling and connecting all particles in a holographic whole. Therefore in this model, information falling into the black whole is exchanged with all other black wholes and the exchange continuously informs the whole to generate the evolution of our Universe. As a result, there may not be any information lost nor information paradox as the information is continuously shared across the Universal black whole network.
Although this seems to be a very extraordinary concept, other well-known physicists such as Leonard Susskind and Juan Maldacena have come to similar conclusions where subatomic particles are entangled through wormholes in spacetime. We will publish in the near future commentaries on this particular approach.
However and importantly, in an attempt to deal with the information firewall difficulty, another team of physicists recently published a paper entitled Planck Stars reported in the popular press as Astrophysicists duo propose Planck star as core of black holes. The team describes that the evaporation of black holes due to Hawking radiation would halt when the black hole mass-energy reaches the Planck density (~1093 gm/cm3). Rovelli and Vidotto then calculate the volume and radius at which the halt would occur and finds a radius close to the Proton size in equation 25. In fact, the formulism utilized by Rovelli and Vidotto is extremely relevant as equations 3, 4, 8 and 9 in their paper are all basic variations of equation 19 in Haramein’s Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass paper, given there as: r=2ℓ(m/mℓ) where ℓ is the Planck length and mℓ is the Planck mass. Haramein extrapolates this quantized solution to the Schwarzschild limit defining the radius of a black hole in Einstein's field equations, from a surface to volume ratio of spherical Planck units packing, where Rovelli and Vidotto arrive to it from spacetime curvature. Both approaches are geometric in nature, and both describe different aspects of the dynamics of space-time driven by the quantum resolution.
According to their work, when the black hole reaches the Planck density critical limit it bounces back “bang” and releases all of the information it had absorbed back into the Universe once again. Furthermore and very importantly, Rovelli and Vidotto demonstrate that the time dilation of a Planck Star would render it stable for a time that approximately exceeds or equals the current age estimate of the Universe. This is important because it could explain why Haramein's proton remains stable for billions of years. As well it lends support to Haramein’s approach, which in his paper utilizes mass dilation to demonstrate that the gravitational strength of a holographic mass proton drops off extremely rapidly with the distance as it is measured in laboratories and curve fitted to the Yukawa potential, demonstrating that the so called strong force confinement of nucleons is actually a function of gravity responding to the mass dilation of a spinning proton.
Therefore, Rovelli and Vidotto in describing a mechanism for the information cycle of black holes, absorbing information and releasing information, led them directly to the formulism utilized by Haramein to describe the discrete Planck quantum nature of spacetime and extrapolate a quantized Schwarzschild solution, which he applies to the quantum scale to define quantum gravity as the confining force acting on the nuclei of atoms. Consequently, these two papers are like pieces of a puzzle, nicely fitting together and giving us a deeper and more complete picture of the fundamental dynamics of our Universe.
We live in an exciting time in the development of physics that in the last few weeks has been amplified by this challenge to find a solution to the information paradox issue and by Hawking’s and others’ attempt in laying down the principles to resolve it. One thing is sure however, all that we know about black holes is being re-examined at this time and the results are leading more and more towards the model that Haramein has been developing for the last thirty years.
By: William Brown