A team of astronomers, in a recent study, has revealed that a rare object can exist around a pair of black holes. The intriguing discovery could help explain the identity of dark matter and reveal the nature of space-time for the scientists.
The researchers found that the ‘special particle’ can exist around a pair of black holes just like how an electron exists around a pair of hydrogen atoms. To understand the science behind the special particle one needs to recollect their knowledge of the structure of an atom, which can be compared to the atmosphere of a black hole.
According to the study, the centre of a black hole matches that of the nucleus of an atom and the surrounding area is similar to the one that describes a subatomic particle.
This is the first time when the existence of a so-called ‘gravitational molecule’ has been explained by scientists. The study was submitted in September by scientists from the University of Rome, University of Paris, and the University of Lisbon.
‘Scalar fields’ can exist around binary black holes
The authors of the new study found that specific types of fields, called ‘scalar fields’ can exist around binary black holes. The research further found that they can form themselves into patterns that resemble how electron fields arrange themselves in molecules. The authors of the study are Taishi Ikeda, Vitor Cardoso, Laura Bernard, and Miguel Zilhao. This study shows that scientists might soon be able to detect dark matter with existing gravitational wave detectors.
Team find X-ray Signature of boundary around Black Holes
In September earlier, a team of international scientists, led by those from India, found a distinctive signature of cosmic X-rays to identify the boundary around black holes, which ‘unmistakably separate them’ from other objects in the cosmos such as neutron stars that are comparable in mass and size.
According to the astrophysicists, including Sudip Bhattacharyya from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, the discovery is by far the strongest steady signature of the smaller, but more extreme stellar-mass black holes to date, from the cosmic X-rays, observed with a satellite. Although black holes do not have a surface, it is confined within an invisible boundary, called an event horizon, from within which nothing, not even light, can escape, the scientists said.
While definitive proof of the existence of such objects is a holy grail of modern physics and astronomy, they said only one supermassive black hole with a mass more than six billion times the mass of the Sun has so far been imaged using the surrounding radiation in radio wavelengths. But according to the study, accepted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, understanding stellar-mass black holes, which have masses about ten times that of the Sun, is indispensable to probe some of the extreme aspects of the cosmos.
(With PTI Inputs)