Could all of the earth’s power problems be solved by black hole power? The world’s greatest mind, the modern day Einstein, brilliant despite suffering ASL, or the human R2D2. Whatever you might know him as, few would deny Stephen Hawking as being one of the most intelligent men to have graced our world. Now, the world’s greatest theoretical physicist (sorry Sheldon) has theorised that our world can be powered by forces beyond our earth.
Hawking has outlined a a theory stating that small black holes, the size of mountains, could be turned into power-stations. These theoretical power-stations could generate enough power to supply earth for as long as we need it…or destroy the world as we know it. What’s the old saying again? The difference between genius and insanity is common opinion. See, back in the day, those pesky science guys believed that black holes were regions of collapsed matter that was so dense that nothing, and I mean nothing, not even light, could escape from their gravitational pull.
That was before 1974 when the one and only Hawking put forward the idea that black holes leak quantum particles. This would become known as Hawking Radiation. Some black holes, which are billions of times bigger than the sun, are littered throughout the universe and they are so cold that they emit this Hawking radiation. Research now proposes that these mountain sized black holes would be much hotter due to their condensed nature and would therefore emit a higher frequency of Hawking Radiation.
“A mountain-sized black hole would give off X-rays and gamma-rays at a rate of about 10 million megawatts, enough to power the world’s electricity supply,” Hawking said in the lecture. “It wouldn’t be easy, however, to harness a mini black hole. You couldn’t keep it in a power station, because it would drop through the floor and end up at the center of the Earth.” So basically what he means here is make a balls of it and we all die.
As if the threat of dying isn’t enough, there is another issue. No one has been ever able to find evidence of these holes and according to one scientist Sabine Hossenfelder (Must not make Big Bang joke) , a physicist at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics. After the lecture she stated:
“in theory, these black holes formed early in the universe’s history, when matter existed in a hot soupy plasma. As this primordial soup got squished together and flung apart, causing fluctuations in density, the theory held, occasionally some regions got so dense that the matter collapsed in on itself, forming mini black holes. To form these primeval black holes, most models assume a high level of density fluctuations, which also tend to produce many more black holes than are present in the universe. You don’t want everything to end up in black holes”.
Good words there Sabine, we don’t want everything to end up in a black hole. you truly are a genius. It’s still cool to think that, assuming these black holes are real and that people could actually detect them. It could take 100,000 years to reach these emphatic power stations, but this problem can be solved by two different, but equally barmy, ideas. Hossenfelder believes that “by using the gravity of a much larger object, people could theoretically tow a mini black hole, eventually coaxing it to sit in Earth’s orbit”. I don’t want to burst bubbles, but this seems like a ridiculous idea. I mean pull a black hole into the Earth’s orbit that is just calling for trouble surely?
Which leaves the alternative of venturing out into deep space to retrieve the universe’s most deadly pot of gold is surely out of the question? Stephen Hawking laughs at your lack of hope. Hawking believes the Large Hadron Collider has the capacity to create these micro black holes and power the planet forever. That is dependent on them also being able to create extra dimensions of space time; whatever that is. Oh and did I mention this still has the capacity to kills us all? Thanks Steve give us hope and new nightmares in one fell swoop.
You won’t be charging your phone on black hold power any time soon, but to cheer up the what would have been a conclusion on a rather dreary note, here is a video of Stephen Hawking facing off against the grand daddy of science himself, Albert Einstein, in a rap battle. You will learn at least one scientific fact and perhaps the nerdiest put down of all time. Enjoy.