Three Orbiting Black Holes Break a Significant Physics Theory

Three Orbiting Black Holes Break a Significant Physics Theory
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A large number of the most iconic laws of physics do not take into account the direction in which time flows, as is the case with Newtonian physics or the theory of general relativity. They form the core of a theory which is known under the name of time-reversal symmetry and argues that regardless of the direction followed by time, the laws will continue to work as expected.

On paper, it looks great, but the situation is a bit different in the real world. A team of researchers from Portugal has made an important discovery, which infers that the time-reversal symmetry can be broken by three black holes which orbit close to each other.

The results of the effort are quite impressive as the researchers note that they did not manage to determine the presence of quantitative relation between the chaos and the irreversibility found within dynamic stellar systems.

Three Black Holes Debunked A Major Physics Theory

To explore the relationship between the three black holes, the researchers employed n-body simulations which are deemed to be more accurate in comparison to standard double-precision arithmetic, learning that the fraction of irreversible numbers tends to become lower.

It is worth pointing out that the n-body problem is one of the most enduring dilemmas in astrophysics, appearing when several bodies are present in a system that features gravitational interaction. Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation argue that the movements of bodies with a similar size, which orbit around a central point can be predicted mathematically in a simple manner.

When a third object joins the group, the situations become a little more complicated. The strong gravitational force exerted by each object will affect the orbits, followed by the others, leading to the appearance of chaos. There aren’t methods that can take into account this phenomenon to provide accurate data about the movements of the objects. The study has been published in a scientific journal.


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