The Reverend Jeff, of Squatcher’s Lounge Fame, suggested that I do a quasi theory on the idea that the event horizon of a black hole is two dimensional, an idea that was initially proposed years ago, but has somehow popped up again in various news feeds of those of us who have gone and liked, as in Facebook “liked”, a number of science related Facebook pages.
After spending a good deal of time yesterday researching the proposed two dimensional flatness of black holes, researched as in Googling the bejesus out of black hole related words and phrases, I have come to the conclusion that the mathematical physicists doing the research mean one thing by two dimensional, and the people writing the articles popping up in news feeds mean another.
What I mean is that black holes are, in point of fact, spherical. They are not flat, as such. The two dimensional surface being discussed is the flat surface of a sphere, which is flat only if you are a flat being living on the surface of the sphere and can’t look up, but only sideways along the plane of the sphere.
Of course there aren’t any beings, as such, living on the surface of a black hole, because a black hole has no surface, as such. It has what they euphemistically call an event horizon. Matter, light, what have you, disappears almost utterly when it passes the event horizon, giving a last gasp of breath, or maybe sort of a fart, known as Hawking radiation, named after Steven Hawking.
I know that if I were being crushed by a black hole, I’d be hawking up everything, too, so the name is quite appropriate.
Hawking radiation is defined as a virtual particle. A virtual particle is neither here nor there. A Hawking radiation virtual particle only gets to here, or there, if it gets to escape the event horizon. If it does that, it becomes the radiation that lets us detect the black hole. Apparently a lot of these virtual particles escape black holes and head our way because we have detected black holes. This seems like circular reasoning to me, but that’s mathematical physics for you. Neither here nor there, much like Schrodinger’s cat, who is neither dead or alive until you open the door of the box the cat lives in.
I refuse to explain Schrodinger’s cat, but I have often wondered if Schrodinger put a litter box in with his cat.
First shared on the Squatcher’s Lounge Podcast:
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