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Published by rahul3125

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Published by: rahul3125 on Jun 26, 2009
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Advanced Physics Made Simple
Black Holes, White Holes, and Worm Holes
The Schwarzschild SolutionShortly after Einstein developed thegeneral theory of relativity, Karl Schwarzschild found a solution for theequations of general relativity in empty space. He started by assuming only that the solution was SPHERICALLYSYMMETRIC. This means that no matter how the system is rotated about its center, it remains the same. He thenapplied the required mathematical conditions to general relativity, and came up with a solution that approximatesthe behaviour of planets around the sun. In fact, one of the first tests of general relativity was the prediction of themotion of Mercury using the Schwarzschild solution. Another benefit of the solution is that it is static. This meansthat a star can pulse and evolve in any spherically symmetric way, and there is no way of measuring the effect ongravity.Unfortunately, there is a problem with the Schwarzschild solution. When the distance from the center of thesystem is equal to a constant multiplied by the total mass of the body, the Schwarzschild metric (recall that this isthe function used to measure distance in general relativity) becomes infinite, and has no time dependence.Although it cannot be proved here, this corresponds to light being trapped at this distance. Even worse, when thedistance is smaller, time and space swap properties, so that ordinary distance acts like time and time acts likedistance.Black HolesThe Schwarzschild solution has a problem at a certain distance, called the Schwarzschild radius or the EventHorizion, at which light cannot escape. Because no light escapes from the event horizon, the object would appear  black, and thus was dubbed a black hole. However it is very rare to have a high enough mass density, and usuallythe Schwarzschild radius lies within the body where the Schwarzschild solution doesn't apply. It is still debated if such high density objects could exist.According to a person who falls into a Black Hole, the event horizon does not exist (this is shown bytransforming to other solutions for spherically symmetric bodies) but when they cross it, they can no longer sendmessages to the outside world. The person then continues to fall towards the center.According to a person a stays at a constant distance from the black hole, the person who falls in never reachesthe event horizon. They appear to slow down forever, and messages sent from the person seem to slow down.White HolesThe black hole is not the only interpretation of the Schwarzschild solution. There is another possibility whichinstead of trapping everything in the event horizon, continuosly emits stuff. They would emit so much light, thatthe would be very bright white objects. In theory, anything could come out of a white hole, from dust particles toa stream of toasters. More than likely, only fundamental particles would be emitted, but there is no reason toassume this.The problem with white holes is that they violate the SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS. (This will becovered in a later section) Basically it states that any ordered system becomes more disorganized (like if you dropan egg, it will become a disordered mess, but a disordered mess will never spontaneously form a perfect egg), andso a system which produces adds order to a system is not possible. This is why many believe that a white hole cannot exist.Worm HolesIf a white hole and a black hole could be linked somehow, then stuff which falls into the black hole couldsuddenly appear coming out of a white hole elsewhere in the universe. In science fiction, such a phenomenaallows people to travel across large amounts of space, faster than normal travel through space will ever allow.

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