When we think about black holes, we imagine a gigantic and dark sphere that captures stars and spaceships as it happened in the Interstellar movie from 2013. But a black hole can even have the size of a potassium atom, and such structures were formed in the first moments that went after the Big Bang, according to SciTechDaily.
The same publication reveals that the atomic-sized black holes could even comprise the totality of the Universe’s dark matter. As you’ve probably already guessed, these black holes are known as primordial. They have a radius of just about 0.23 nanometers.
But how can primordial black holes be born when we know that black holes generally emerge after a star collapses into its own gravity? It seemed a big conundrum at first.
Primordial black holes emit the most radiation
While supermassive black holes emit no radiation, the “primordial”/microscopic ones emit the most radiation. Scientists obviously started to wonder how can this be possible, and they started to investigate.
Stephen Hawking’s work from the 1970s provided an answer. The quantum effects that were close to a black hole’s event horizon could emit particles that could escape. Black holes unable to gain mass by other means will start losing their mass until they’ll evaporate. When it comes to low-mass black holes, the Hawking radiation becomes more obvious.
In the last stages of the evaporation of a black hole, they would finally explode and generate huge gamma rays.
Blame it on the Big Bang
The Big Bang is the (indirect) cause of all that exists. Whether we’re talking about matter, space, and even time itself, they all have their origins in the Big Bang event that occurred roughly 13.7 billion years ago, according to most scientists.
Now the Big Bang is the likely cause of the emergence of primordial black holes. That’s why they’re called “primordial” in the first place: they appeared in the first moments after the Universe’s birth.