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Physicists Discover Superfluid Black Holes -- What Do They Do?

Feb 08, 2017 10:50 AM EST
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Physicists have just simulated a "superfluid" black hole that acts like liquid helium. This adds yet another strange dimension to the already odd phenomenon of black holes.

If these simulations are correct, then the existence of a black hole in another universe that acts like liquid helium is a possibility. These are black holes that can climb walls and flow uphill. This is a result of physicists modeling a theoretical black hole that behaves in a way that is mathematically identical to liquid helium when it enters a superfluid state. The said liquid black hole is so strange that even our universe may not support it.

According to New Scientist, Robert Mann from the University of Waterloo in Canada said the conditions may be possible anywhere else but our own universe. However, superfluids were way crazier before that.

In a report from Science Alert, superfluids are incredible rare substances that have zero viscosity. It can flow without any loss of kinetic energy. This property alone, which is bizarre enough, leads to all kinds of behaviors: flowing upwards against gravity or fit into spaces to molecule-sized spaces. Superfluids even conduct electricity with no resistance.

Scientific American notes that cooling helium a few degrees before its boiling point will help it transition into a superfluid state. It even does the opposite of remaining motionless in a moving container, but getting it to spin in a motionless container allows it to spin forever. Superfluids have been extremely hard to identify in nature, but scientists know it's in two isotopes of helium (helium-3 and helium-4) when liquified by cooling to cryogenic temperatures.

Mann and his team observed the said behavior when they simulated a specific type of black hole -- the anti-de-Sitter -- under the conditions of Lovelock gravity. This is the kind of gravity that coincides with the fifth, sixth and seventh dimensions based on Einstien's concept of gravity. Sticking a black hole in these dimensions turns it into a superfluid.

This gives scientists an opportunity to explore the properties of superfluids without needing to produce samples, which can lead to manipulating zero-resistance energy. It may even allow them to figure out how our universe behave under certain conditions.

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