When we think about black holes, the first thing that comes into mind is a mysterious structure that greedily devours any cosmic object that comes too close. The description doesn’t have any fallacy, as not even light can escape the tremendous gravity of a black hole.
But things are more complicated than that, as some scientists believe that a black hole doesn’t necessarily have to act against us. The question is what happens to an object that falls into a black hole, and surely doing an experiment for yourself to find out for sure isn’t worth the risk. The American theoretical cosmologist and professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College, Janna J. Levin, comes to improve the reputation of perhaps the most peculiar objects in the Universe.
Falling into a black hole without realizing it?
Levin is pretty certain that a human being has chances of falling into a black hole and making it out alive. She declared:
If you were in empty space with complete darkness, and you were right outside a black hole, you wouldn’t know it was there,
And if you crossed the event horizon, it would be completely undramatic. You could float right across, and not really realize anything was happening, because there’s nothing there.
There’s even a chance that, in the far future, scientists will be able to manipulate black holes using gravity and magnetism, with the purpose of drawing power from them.
Black holes can act as time machines
Levin believes that a person flying with a spaceship into a supermassive black hole could be able to receive messages from outside. Due to time dilation explained in Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, those messages could reveal a lot more than the person would expect. Janna Levin explains:
If you knew you had a year to live, but wanted to see your grandchildren born, you could go on this epic journey, so that your children have time to grow up, have their children, and you get to see your grandchildren born,
A similar idea was stipulated in the Interstellar movie from 2013, but the space traveler who fell into a supermassive black hole went backwards in time to see his daughter. The renowned American cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked if such a scenario is possible in reality, but he was pretty sure that nothing could ever survive falling into a black hole. While physicists are contradicting each other on the subject of what happens if someone falls into a black hole, science will probably get an irrefutable answer someday.
Janna Levin wrote a new book for improving the reputation of black holes, and it’s entitled ‘The Black Hole Survival Guide’. The scientist also revealed more about her intriguing view of black holes in Episode 442 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.