report | Up for Debate: physicist says black holes are a math impossibility

Researcher says they might not be exactly what they seem.
April 10, 2019


— the interview —

group: Univ. of North Carolina
story title: Univ. of North Carolina’s Laura Mersini-Houghton PhD shows that black holes do not exist
date: September 2014

read | full story


— the story —

A quandary: black holes don’t exist — according to math calculations by physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton PhD — at the University of North Carolina.

Because black holes are traditionally considered one of the biggest cosmic mysteries — Mersini-Houghton’s statement that they don’t exist has caused controversy. But the science behind the scientific theory of black holes is more complex from a math and physics point of view.

Most of us think of black holes as stars that collapse in massive explosions, causing them to become smaller + denser. Mersini-Houghton isn’t questioning the existence of that. But she is questioning what properties black holes have — such as a singularity within a star’s explosion that creates the event horizon. An event horizon is a point so strong that nothing can escape the pull of the black hole: once something goes into a black hole, it disappears.

The 2 leading theories about our  universe contradict this, however. Historic physicist Albert Einstein PhD’s theory of gravity predicts that black holes can form, but his law of quantum theory says that nothing from the universe can ever disappear. Combine the 2 theories creates mathematical nonsense — and is called “the information loss paradox.”

So how can both theories be correct? The only way to combine the 2 concepts is by stating that some properties we associate with black holes don’t exist. That means black holes — as scientists know them, are impossible. Her calculations require scientists to re-imagine the fabric of space, and re-think the origins of our universe.

For many decades, scientists believed that black holes form when a massive star collapses to a single point in space. Imagine planet Earth being squished into a ball the size of a peanut — called a singularity. The event horizon the point where a black hole’s gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can escape it. Crossing this horizon means that you could never cross back.

Experimental evidence may one day show physical proof if black holes exist in the universe or not — and in what form. But for now, Mersini-Houghton says the mathematics are conclusive.

Laura Mersini-Houghton PhD said: “I’m still not over the shock. We’ve been studying this problem for a more than 50 years — and this math solution gives us a lot to think about.”


— the report —

report title: The back-reaction of Hawking radiation on a gravitationally collapsing star — black holes
year: September 2014
author: by Laura Mersini-Houghton PhD

read | the report
format: Adobe

— summary —

In her paper Laura Mersini-Houghton PhD uses 2 seemingly conflicting theories to mathematically prove that black holes don’t exist — because they can’t possibly come into existence in the first place. She also references physicist Stephen Hawking PhD.



on the web | reading

Midnight in the Desert | Professor says black holes are mathematically impossible
Tech Times | Physics professor says black holes mathematically impossible


on the web | pages

Univ. of North Carolina | Laura Mersini-Houghton PhD
Cambridge Univ. | Stephen Hawking PhD

Stephen Hawking PhD | home


[ story file ]

story title: report | Up for Debate: physicist says black holes are math impossibility
deck: Researcher says they might not be exactly what they seem.
year: 2019
section: digest

[ end of file ]