Black holes do not exist where space and time do not exist, says new theory

The quintessential feature of a black hole is its “point of no return,” or what is more technically called its event horizon. When anything—a star, a particle, or wayward human—crosses this horizon, the black hole’s massive gravity pulls it in with such force that it is impossible to escape. At least, this is what happens in traditional black hole models based on general relativity. In general, the existence of the event horizon is responsible for most of the strange phenomena associated with black holes.

In a new paper, physicists Ahmed Farag Ali, Mir Faizal, and Barun Majunder have shown that, according to a new generalization of Einstein’s theory of gravity called “gravity’s rainbow,” it is not possible to define the position of the event horizon with arbitrary precision. If the event horizon can’t be defined, then the black hole itself effectively does not exist.

“In gravity’s rainbow, space does not exist below a certain minimum length, and time does not exist below a certain minimum time interval,” Ali, a physicist at the Zewail City of Science and Technology and Benha University, both in Egypt, told “So, all objects existing in space and occurring at a time do not exist below that length and time interval [which are associated with the Planck scale]. As the event horizon is a place in space which exists at a point in time, it also does not exist below that scale.”

When Ali talks about “all objects,” he literally means everything around us, including ourselves.

“We also do not exist physically below that length and time interval,” he said. “However, for us, our house, our car, etc., it does not matter if we do not exist at any one point of space and time, as long as we exist beyond a certain interval. However, for the event horizon it does matter, and this causes the main difference in our calculations.” Via Black holes do not exist where space and time do not exist, says new theory.

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