Exploding primordial black holes could be detected (credit: Wired.com)

When Black Holes Explode: Measuring the Emission from the Fifth Dimension

Article Updated: 26 Dec , 2015

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Primordial black holes are remnants of the Big Bang and they are predicted to be knocking around in our universe right now. If they were 1012kg or bigger at the time of creation, they have enough mass to have survived constant evaporation from Hawking radiation over the 14 billion years since the beginning of the cosmos. But what happens when the tiny black hole evaporates so small that it becomes so tightly wrapped around the structure of a fifth dimension (other than the “normal” three spatial dimensions and one time dimension)? Well, the black hole will explosively show itself, much like an elastic band snapping, emitting energy. These final moments will signify that the primordial black hole has died. What makes this exciting is that researchers believe they can detect these events as spikes of radio wave emissions and the hunt has already begun…

Publications about primordial black holes have been very popular in recent years. There is the possibility that these ancient singularities are very common in the Universe, but as they are predicted to be quite small, their effect on local space isn’t likely to be very observable (unlike younger, super-massive black holes at the centre of galaxies or the stellar black holes remaining after supernovae). However, they could be quite mischievous. Some primordial black hole antics include kicking around asteroids if they pass through the solar system, blasting through the Earth at high velocity, or even getting stuck inside a planet, slowly eating up material like a planetary parasite.

But say if these big bang relics never come near the Earth and we never see their effect on Earth (a relief, we can do without a primordial black hole playing billiards with near Earth asteroids or the threat of a mini black hole punching through the planet!)? How are we ever going to observe these theoretical singularities?

Eight-meter-wavelength Transient Array (credit: Virginia Tech)

Now, the ultimate observatory has been realized, but it measures a fairly observable cosmic emission: radio waves. The Eight-meter-wavelength Transient Array (ETA) run by Virginia Tech Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics, and the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), is currently taking high cadence radio wave observations and has been doing so for the past few months. This basic-looking antenna system, in fields in Montgomery County and North Carolina, could receive emissions in the 29-47 MHz frequencies, giving researchers a unique opportunity to see primordial black holes as they die.

Interestingly, if their predictions are correct, this could provide evidence for the existence of a fifth dimension, a dimension operating at scales of billionths of a nanometer. If this exotic emission can be received, and if it is corroborated by both antennae, this could be evidence of the string theory prediction that there are more dimensions than the four we currently understand.

The idea we’re exploring is that the universe has an imperceptibly small dimension (about one billionth of a nanometer) in addition to the four that we know currently. This extra dimension would be curled up, in a state similar to that of the entire universe at the time of the Big Bang.” – Michael Kavic, project investigator.

As black holes are wrapped around this predicted fifth dimension, as they slowly evaporate and lose mass, eventually primordial black holes will be so stressed and stretched around the fifth dimension that the black hole will die, blasting out emissions in radio wave frequencies.

String theory requires extra dimensions to be a consistent theory. String theory suggests a minimum of 10 dimensions, but we’re only considering models with one extra dimension.” – Kavic

When the Large Hadron Collider goes online in May, it is hoped that the high energies generated may produce mini-black holes (amongst other cool things) where research can be done to look for the string theory extra dimensions. But the Eight-meter-wavelength Transient Array looking for the death of “naturally occurring” primordial black holes is a far less costly endeavour and may achieve the same goal.

Here’s an article on a theory that there could be 10 dimensions.

Source: Nature


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roger caspaccio
Guest
roger caspaccio
March 16, 2008 4:19 PM

Dear Mr O’Neill,

I love your articles.
On no other site I find such inspiring and well researched compilations.

Most of the information I find elsewhere is sober, uninspired and boring.

You are like an eagle soaring in the highest heights of science.
You think the thoughts noone else can describe – without dispensable ballast of empiric proof or mathematical evidence.

Thanks for the constant source of unprecedented ideas, unmatched scientific thought leadership and jounalistic excellence.
This world of sterile scientists owes you for the firework of fantasy, free associations and progress at the frontiers.

Thanks at on, keep it coming.

UNdistinguished
Guest
UNdistinguished
March 16, 2008 9:11 PM

What kind of radio signature would be produced from the “snapping” in the 5th. 29-47MHz abounds with a lot of man-made emissions. How to tell Black Hole from man-made? Could this be detected by anyone with a reciver capable of the 29-47MHz range like the snow on TV channels from the cosmic background radition of the Big Bang?

Dave
Guest
Dave
March 16, 2008 7:10 PM

Hear, Hear

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
March 16, 2008 7:55 PM
Wow, that’s quite a glowing tribute Roger! On topic, it really would be a fantastic development if these primordial black hole evaporations could be detected – one of the most beautiful and elegant discoveries in science in my opinion. Think about it the profundity of such a discovery – it would confirm one of the last remaining unverified predictions of the Big Bang model – that these tiny black holes exist. It would constitute solid evidence for the process of Hawking Radiation and consequently black hole evaporation. AND, it may provide solid insights into one of the most oft talked about and relied upon but least confirmed ideas in all of physics – the concept of extra dimensions… Read more »
David Madison, Sr.
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David Madison, Sr.
March 17, 2008 3:22 AM

String Theory is the wrong name. It is String Philosophy. A theory is a hypothesis that has withstood repeated attempts at disproof. A hypothesis is a disprovable possible explanation for observations; it must be testable. We have no observations that need an explanation, and we have no way to disprove our explanations for what we do not see. Since we have no hypothesis, it could not have survived repeated tests. We have great sounding philosophy, but not the science of theory.

String Philosophy will become a String Hypothesis if we every find a way to disprove it. If the attempts at disproof fail, repeatedly, then we can talk about String Theory.

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
March 16, 2008 11:40 PM

Ian O’Neill Says:
March 16th, 2008 at 10:36 pm
“…I love the simplicity of the equipment used when compared to the exotic physics we could discover.”

Agreed. It is great to see that, with some clever minds and some (relatively) basic equipment, great fundamental physics can still be done. It reminds me a bit of the original experiments built at Princeton to look for the predicted cosmic microwave background, before Penzias and Wilson beat them to the fold – simple equipment, big science!

neoguru
Member
neoguru
March 17, 2008 7:03 AM

I’m continually amazed with “String Fantasy” being taken seriously. It’s all speculation with no evidence and no connection with reality. Perhaps it was inspired by a dream. Perhaps overly active imaginations. It sure ain’t based on any reasonable scientific principles. More then 10 dimensions – wudda joke.

cathbad
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cathbad
March 17, 2008 2:11 AM

lol

congrats Ian.
You met the pulse of your fandom by doing the same all over again.
What a thankful audience of scientists.

Krishna
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Krishna
March 17, 2008 3:06 AM

Hi, Ian

We love your articles.
This is really gr8 and informative article for
somone like us , who are new to astronomy.

thanks…..

baley
Guest
baley
March 17, 2008 4:08 AM

I 100% agree with David.

Even if we were to find a radio emission from an exploding black hole would that confirm string theory? I mean would that be the only explanation possible?

Ignoramus
Guest
Ignoramus
March 17, 2008 6:00 AM

String Theory work is real science at the level of The Large Hadron Collider according this article.
The 29-47 MHz is the spectrum portion where I fly my radiocontrolled gliders.
The rest of the article is science-fiction and sensationalism.
Do we need this @ universetoday?
Fraser help!

C Webster Rose
Guest
C Webster Rose
March 17, 2008 7:39 AM

Ian, call me simple but I just cannot comprehend a 5th dimemsion let alone 12. Is there any video or anything that will help me unlock what it is I am having trouble understanding. I’ve got it on Black Holes. I read everything I come across on them but now when it comes to grasping the idea of a 5th or 12th dimemsion’s. I know there is a simple explanation, I just need that Eureka moment.
Thank You
C. Webster Rose

John Mendenhall
Member
John Mendenhall
March 17, 2008 9:59 AM

Neo guru “I’m continually amazed with “String Fantasy” being taken seriously. It’s all speculation with no evidence and no connection with reality.”

I know how you feel, but . . .

Although there are no testable predictions so far from string theory, because our equipment can’t reach that small, if the string folks are right it can explain many things. That’s why it generates such excitement.

My guess is that the string theorists are off in the wrong direction, but even if they only get negative results, then we have a better understanding of how the universe doesn’t work.

Ron Evans
Guest
Ron Evans
March 17, 2008 10:01 AM
Hi All, First, I also very much appreciate the news on Universe today. While I know that “String theory/fantasy/ whatever you want to call it” is an unproven and so far an unprovable theory, it is still something that has consumed a lot of scientific effort over the past 30 years so I don’t mind hearing about what is being done to test it. I’d also like to hear things about other theories like quantum gravity and doubly special relativity and such. However, in this article you mention that primodial black holes could come to rest inside a planet and slowly consume the planet planet from within. Then you go on to say, “… When the Large Hadron… Read more »
fred
Guest
fred
March 17, 2008 10:02 AM

cwebster,

You need to get inside your own brain and observe the myriad convolutions of the nerve tissue there. Ever look at the Calabi-Yau topologies?

No doubt these xtra dimensions theorized exist only at Planck-lengths in the domain of quantum physics.

Stephan Hawqueens
Guest
Stephan Hawqueens
March 17, 2008 12:22 PM

Damn great to see how you take your helpless audience for a ride.
Combine a couple of buzzwords, put in a semi-scientific format and they start to bombinate.

Hilarious how you take then for a fool by addressing their weaknesses.

Your a bugger indeed.
Let them orbit.

wpDiscuz