Black holes could appear in “perfect pairs” in an ever-expanding universe

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Black holes could appear in 'perfect pairs' in an ever-expanding Universe

Two black holes can stay at a fixed distance when their gravitational pull (red arrows) is offset by cosmic expansion (blue arrows) associated with a cosmological constant. Such a situation would mimic a single black hole to distant observers. Credit: APS/Alan Stonebraker

Researchers at the University of Southampton, together with colleagues at the universities of Cambridge and Barcelona, ​​have shown that it is theoretically possible for black holes to exist in perfectly balanced pairs (kept in balance by a cosmological force) mimicking a single black hole.

Black holes are massive astronomical objects that have such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape. They are incredibly dense. A black hole could concentrate the Earth’s mass into a space the size of a pea.

Conventional theories about , based on Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, often explain how static or rotating black holes can exist on their own, isolated in space. Black holes in pairs would eventually be thwarted by gravity pulling them in and colliding with each other.

However, this is true if the universe is assumed to be still. But what about one that is constantly moving? Could harmonious pairs of black holes exist in an ever-expanding universe, perhaps disguised as one?

“The standard model of cosmology assumes that the Big Bang gave rise to the universe and that, approximately 9.8 billion years ago, it became dominated by a mysterious force, called ‘‘, which accelerates the universe at a constant rate,” says Professor Oscar Dias of the University of Southampton.

Scientists refer to this mysterious force as a ‘‘. In a universe explained by Einstein’s theory with a cosmological constant, black holes are immersed in an accelerated cosmological background. This moves theoretical goals on how black holes can interact and exist together.

Using complex numerical methods, the team behind this latest study shows that two static (non-spinning) black holes can exist in equilibrium: their gravitational pull is offset by the expansion associated with a cosmological constant. Even in the acceleration of an ever-expanding universe, black holes remain locked at a fixed distance from each other. No matter how much expansion tries to separate them, the compensates.

“Seen from a distance, a pair of black holes whose attraction is offset by cosmic expansion would look like a single black hole. It could be difficult to detect whether it is a single black hole or a pair of them,” says Professor Dias.

Professor Jorge Santos of the University of Cambridge adds: “Our theory is proven for a pair of static black holes, but we think it could also apply to rotating ones. Furthermore, it seems plausible that our solution could be true for three or even three. “. four black holes, opening up a whole range of possibilities.”

This study was carried out by Professor Oscar Dias (University of Southampton), Professor Gary Gibbons (University of Cambridge), Professor Jorge Santos (University of Cambridge) and Dr Benson Way (University of Barcelona). His paper “Static black binaries in de Sitter space” is published In the diary Physical examination letters and reviewed as a Viewpoint article.

More information:
Óscar JC Dias et al, Static black binaries in de Sitter space, Physical examination letters (2023). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.131401

Citation: Black holes could come in ‘perfect pairs’ in an ever-expanding universe (October 22, 2023) retrieved October 22, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-10-black-holes- pairs-universe.html

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