While black holes largely remain a mystery of the universe, new research suggests physics surrounding certain black holes could keep you from being crushed by gravity if you ever found yourself near one.
Usually the result of a dying star, black holes are dark spots in space where the gravitational pull is so strong, no light can escape. This force of gravity pulls in matter until it is compressed into an impossibly small space. If you were to go anywhere near a black hole, it would likely rip you apart, pulling you toward the center of the black hole with so much force that your atoms would disintegrate.
But a team of scientists from Georgia Gwinnett College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the University of Maryland have learned that you may actually survive an interstellar trip into a black hole – so long as the event horizon is rotating.
So, Interstellar was right?
The team has designed a supercomputer model, detailed in a paper published in the Physical Review D, to simulate how the physical fields surrounding a rotating black hole, which isn't beholden to the laws of physics due to its immense density and gravitational force, evolve as they move towards its center.
Through this simulation, Dr. Lior Burko from the Georgia Gwinnett College explained that, while they found that "gravitational forces increase and become infinite, they do so fast enough that their interaction allows physical objects to stay intact as they move toward the center of the black hole."
The team hopes that this model will help further research of black holes. Perhaps one day we'll get close enough to a rotating black hole to peer inside and even see what's on the other side – just like Matthew McConaughey.
Image credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss