≡ Menu

The Space Outlook from Kentucky

If you can put together a consortium that takes in a variety of public and private organizations, then seed it with university expertise, you can start involving yourself in space research. Take a look at what Kentucky Space is all about. I’m reminded of its ongoing efforts by the fact that its blog is currently hosting the Carnival of Space, reporting in the introduction on its upcoming sub-orbital mission, scheduled for launch today from the Mojave desert. Kentucky Space’s projects have included KySat, a student-led initiative involving small satellites from design to launch and operation.

This is an active and interesting program well worth your attention, and its Web presence is ably enlivened by Wayne Hall, who presents the current Carnival materials. Of these, I point you to Colony Worlds and its enjoyable musings on dogs in space. Headed out for Mars for a couple of years, or perhaps planning on settling in a distant colony, maybe an O’Neill habitat somewhere out around L-5? If so, you’ll get a kick out of Darnell Clayton’s reasons why your dog may be your best traveling companion. All of which reminds me of one of the wilder dreams I’ve ever had, about one of my Border Collies being sent Laika-style aboard a spacecraft bound for Neptune…

Also intriguing from the mix is Ian O’Neill’s short piece on black holes, and the results of a computer simulation that rammed two black holes into each other at close to the speed of light. The question: What happens to the event horizon after so cataclysmic an event? Can a black hole exist without one? The results from this work by Emanuele Berti and team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were intriguing:

Unlike previous simulations examining lower-energy collisions, far more energetic gravitational waves were produced. So much so that 14% of the total masses of the colliding black holes were converted into gravitational wave energy. So far so good. If this extreme (and unlikely) scenario were to occur, perhaps we’d know what to look out for in the noisy LIGO data, and we might gain an estimate of how much mass black holes shed in these encounters. However, there’s another outcome to Berti’s research: black holes keep their event horizons no matter what is thrown at them.

An event as powerful as this is gravitationally interesting, but it’s also of note in relation to Roger Penrose’s musings on so-called ‘naked’ singularities, which suggest there is no way they can exist in nature. Exactly how such ‘cosmic censorship’ might work is an open question — Ian notes that you can work out the math to show that a singularity could exist without an event horizon — but in any case, we have no idea what a naked singularity would look like if it did exist, making this theorizing unlikely to move into the realm of observational data any time soon.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • James M. Essig October 11, 2008, 18:14

    Hi Folks;

    Perhaps the black hole collision simulations did not include colliding black holes with high enough translational gamma factors. If only gamma factors of less than 10 was tested, then perhaps gamma factors of 100, 1,000, 1 million, 1 billion and so one need to be tested. It might even be true that the Lorenz Transformation Rules of Special Relativity, and the resulting ramifications for General Relativity, breakdown for velocities exceedingly close to C. Such a breakdown, at least in part, has been proposed for the Theory of Doubly Special Relativity.

    I wonder if anyone has considered black-holes produced by the aggregation of pure electrons, i.e., maximally mass-specific electrically charged black holes, wherein the electrical charge would have been instilled in a volume of space that is equal to or smaller than the volume that would result in the formation of an event horizon otherwise. Perhaps some exotic means could produce such a black hole perhaps by teleportation of the electrical charge, instillation of the charge by wormholes etc.

    Perhaps the “black-holes” thus formed would have an un-cloaked singularity being that the electromagnetic force is approximately 10 EXP 40 times stronger than the gravitational force. It is interesting to consider whether an asymmetrically or non-spherically disposed electrical charge distribution within such a would be event horizon would be felt as non-symmetric electrical field flux lines extending out from the would be event horizon of such a black-hole.

    It is interesting to consider the collision of two such super-charged such black-holes wherein the electrical charge instilled within each black hole would have the same sign and the same magnitude, the caveat being the ability to produce macroscopic black holes with enough collision energy in consideration of the enormous repulsive forces that would be felt between such black holes before they would merge. Pairs of black holes with differing masses and therefore differing quantities of electrical charge of the same sign could also be modeled.

    Another possibility is to model black holes that have opposite signed electrical charges such as might, for the sake of argument, be produced, one from positrons and one from electrons, wherein the black holes would attract each other with veracious force and the resulting unheard of gamma factors that could result by such acceleration thus leading to unheard of gamma factor collisions. Perhaps it is even possible that the black holes coulombic attraction in the case of oppositely charged black holes, or coulombic repulsion in the case of black holes of the same sign charge would be enough to pull the black holes apart before they could merge.

    I will have additional comments on this subject in the comming hours or day.



  • James M. Essig October 12, 2008, 11:15

    Hi Folks;

    Regarding numerical models to test for the possible formation of naked singularities, or lack thereof, some additional items for research are given below.

    An interesting case would be a model of two oppositely charged black holes wherein the magnitude of the charge on one black hole differs from that of the other black hole wherein the black hole so formed by collision would have a net positive or a net negative electrical charge.

    Regarding black holes that are rotating, a model with two colliding black holes that are rotating at just under C with the whole variety of possible rotational axes of relative orientation or a good representative sample thereof could be useful. The collisions of two black holes as such with different masses could prove insightful.

    The modeling of two colliding black holes wherein one black hole would be traveling with a much higher gamma factor than the other, but wherein the spin of one or both of the black-holes would have a relativistic or highly relativistic value and wherein one black hole would have a mass greater than the other and/or wherein the colliding black holes would have the same momentum perhaps allowing all of their kinetic energy to be transformed into stationary center of mass frame products. A representative sample of relative spin orientations would also be interesting to consider.

    Regarding electrically charged black-holes, the modeling of the collision of two or more of such black-holes simultaneously wherein the net electrical charge of the system is zero, positive, or negative could prove useful. Also, the collision of rapidly rotating black holes that are electrically charged, perhaps with rotation speeds just under C, and wherein the full range of relative axes of orientations or a representative sample thereof is considered, would be good to model.

    The collision of non-charged black holes rotating near C with non-charged backhoes rotating much less than C with the broad range of spins, masses, gamma factors, spin orientations, and black hole rest masses, or a representative sample thereof, would be interesting to model. Such a system of multiple black holes wherein one or more or all of the black holes is(are) extremely positively charged, and/or where one or more of the black holes is(are) extremely negatively charged, and/or one or more of the black holes is mildly charged would also be interesting to model; once again, with consideration of the full range of relative spin orientation combinations, translational gamma factors, a large range of spin velocities, and black hole rest masses.

    I will have additional comments to make on this subject in the comming hours.



  • James M. Essig October 12, 2008, 21:41

    Hi Folks;

    Some additional notions for numerical experimentation regarding colliding black holes are discussed below.

    Perhaps the testing of the full range of the above variables or a representative sample thereof can be performed wherein an attempt to excite resonant oscillatory modes within the black hole formed by the collision of the two or more black holes can be made. Such oscillatory modes might be brought to such a high amplitude such that the black hole shatters in a manner analogous to the failure of a piece of machinery under amplified vibrations of the machines natural oscillatory frequency modes.

    The excitation of black hole oscillatory modes required to shatter a black hole might be produced through sequential collisions of more than two black holes in stead of simultaneous collisions of more than two black holes.

    Another possibility involves the patterns of black holes collisions wherein the undulations or gravity waves generated would be superposed in an analogous manner that electromagnetic waves can be superposed to yield higher amplitude electric and magnetic field components of the electromagnetic waves.

    Note that by testing the full range of variables described above and any un-mentioned variables might permit the study of any symmetries or asymmetries in the structure of general relativistic space-time, or perhaps even such as might be the consequence of String Theory, The Theory of Branes, M-Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity, and/or Lattice Quantum Gravity.

    Also, the testing of black holes made at least in part from matter and/or energy in the form of particles of the proposed yet to be discovered forms according to the theory of Supersymmetry may be relevant here also. It has been stated that black holes can only be defined by their mass, spin, and electrical charge, however, perhaps the electrical charge and electrodynamic field Supersymmetry analogues of the photino and the squarks and sleptons play a role here as well. Assuming that black-holes might have or be capable of super-symmetric hair, the super-symmetric analogues of electrical charge and associated fields might also be tested for the full range of collisional behaviors as described above.



  • Benjamin October 12, 2008, 23:27

    Hi James,

    I recall there was a New Scientist article about a proof that you can’t uncloak a black hole electromagnetically.

    Here it is: http://space.newscientist.com/article/mg19826614.300-could-we-strip-a-black-hole-naked.html

    Hope that helps. A brief overview:

    1) A black hole with electric charge would spontaneously throw off charge as it approaches a level that could uncensor it.

    2) A charged black hole with angular momentum can’t be pushed to the stage where its angular momentum exceeds the level where it would be uncensored, as it would be repelled at the event horizon, for reasons rather opaquely explained and entirely beyond my understanding.

  • James M. Essig October 13, 2008, 12:46

    Hi Benjamin;

    Thanks for the above comments.

    Perhaps the electrical charge in the form of electrons could be deposted at a density much greater than that required to form an event horizon by methods such as wormhole based depostion within the requisite volume of space, electromagnetic and/or gravity based teleportation, of some sort of space time multiple connectivity set up for this pupose.

    At present, I can see no reason why a very advanced future human civilization might not learn how to use such means to deposit 10 EXP 30 or more metric tons of electrons within a region as small as a cubic cenimeter.

    Since there are folks who suggest that in the distant future, we may be able to create entirely new universes from scratch or as by products of our universe’s mattergy-spacetime, I will boldly suggest that some how, some way, perhaps naked singularities might be possible to construct.