Some black holes could be wormholes, and the difference is in the gamma radiation.
Luminous, supermassive black holes called active galactic nuclei (AGN) could really be wormholes.
The two cosmic objects emit totally different radiation signatures.
Some scientists believe black holes aren’t all the same—and that some are really wormholes. To find out, we’ll need a way to tell the difference with certainty.
In a new paper, Russian scientists posit that the right blast of gamma radiation could reveal wormholes in black hole disguise.
How would a black hole wormhole work? The answer is actually relatively simple, and it also reveals why such a wormhole would have a detectable physical “tell.” Space's Charles Q. Choi explains:
“Any matter falling into a mouth of a supermassive wormhole would likely travel at extraordinarily high speeds due to its powerful gravitational fields. The scientists modeled the consequences of matter flowing through both mouths of a wormhole to where these mouths meet, the wormhole's "throat." The result of such collisions are spheres of plasma expanding out both mouths of the wormhole at nearly the speed of light, the researchers said.”
This “outburst,” in the literal sense, is what scientists can look for. “The spheres of plasma from wormholes can reach temperatures of about 18 trillion degrees Fahrenheit (10 trillion degrees Celsius),” Choi writes. “At such heat, the plasma would produce gamma rays with energies of 68 million electronvolts.”
This radiation signature is distinct from even the most powerful and radiative known kinds of black holes. Because of that, the “fingerprint” could immediately tell scientists they were looking into a wormhole.
This part is important, because the theory of black holes as wormholes overlaps with one specific kind of black hole: the active galactic nucleus (AGN), which is gigantic and extraordinarily powerful.
AGNs give centers of galaxies their trademark brightness, hence the name, and scientists have argued about their true nature for a long time. “The underlying hypothesis of this work is that the active galactic nuclei are wormhole mouths rather than supermassive black holes,” the researchers explain.
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AGNs aren't well understood, with qualities of supermassive black holes mixed with extreme brightness. They’re broken into categories based on different factors, but the idea that they blast out a huge amount of radiation is what plays into this research. Their radiation signature is different enough from what would emerge from a true wormhole that scientists won’t mistake one for the other.
So how would such a test work? Think about looking at two lamps, where one has a “warm” compact fluorescent bulb and the other has a “natural” tone. You can immediately tell not just that they’re different, but likely what the difference indicates about what they both are. For cosmologists, the difference between wormholes and AGNs will be just as immediately clear. One of the authors of the paper told Space that he’s surprised this hasn’t been thought of before because of how simple it is.
In future research, if scientists can identify gamma radiation coming from a suspected galactic nucleus, these study findings mean they can hazard a guess that the object isn't galactic nucleus at all. It could, in fact, be a wormhole. At the very least, it’s something new.
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