Escape a Black Hole: New Simulations Give Insights into Plasma Jets

Conducted by UC Berkeley, the simulation sheds light on a mystery that has challenged scientists for decades.
Donovan Alexander

Black holes are the enigmas in the universe. Their behavior both puzzles and shocks researchers around the planet. Yet, there is so little known about black holes, and most ideas derive their origins from limited theories.

In short, black holes are stars that have collapsed under their own gravity, producing such gravitational force that even light can’t escape; quite literally ripping a hole in time and space. However, new research may turn this idea on its head.

Like something out of the film Interstellar, researchers from the UC Berkeley in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory may have discovered the way plasma jets steal energy from a black hole and how they utilize that same energy to escape its gravitational clutches.

Escape a Black Hole: New Simulations Give Insights into Plasma Jets
Source: NASA

Understanding Black Holes

As hinted at above, black holes are massive gravitational anomalies that distort space and time; so much so that time runs slower as you approach the event horizon of a black hole. With countless holes spread throughout the universe and lurking in our cosmic neighborhood, understanding and researching black holes could be crucial to the future of interstellar travel.

Oddly, black holes eject energy, or what scientists call plasma jets. If a spacecraft were able to borrow some of this energy to avoid its gravitational pull, it could open the doors to everything from the better understanding of black holes to interstellar space travel, to even time travel.

Plasma Power

Compiling decades of research, the researches from Berkley believe that plasma jet may be the key to escaping black holes. In their simulations, the team worked hard on understanding the behavior of plasma jets in relation to black holes, a question that has bamboozled researchers for a while.

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The new insight unites a theory explaining how electric currents around a black hole twist magnetic fields into forming jets, with a separate theory explaining how particles crossing through a black hole’s point of no return can lower a black hole’s rotational energy.

Black holes are weird. They are able to take in some energy but lose mass over time. The simulation points to the loss of mass to the black holes absorption of negative energy particles.

Completed at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, the simulation provided one of the first models that bring together plasma physics and the general theory of relativity.

These new insights could shed light on dark and mysterious black holes, and help the scientific community gain further insights into the behaviors of these anomalies.

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