For the first time, scientists – including a Greek woman and a Greek Cypriot – have announced in scientific papers that they have found evidence from galaxy observations that abundant dark energy is ‘hiding’ inside black holes, fueling the continued expansion of the universe.
Contributing to the papers are astronomer Dr. Evanthia Hadjiminaoglou of the European Southern Observatory (a 1996 graduate of the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with a PhD in astrophysics from the French Paul Champatier University in Toulouse), as well as astrophysicist Andreas Efstathiou, rector of the European University Cyprus.
Rather than dark energy being diffused through space-time, as most physicists have assumed, the researchers suggest that it is created and remains inside black holes. However, more observations and studies will be needed to confirm this, as other scientists already seem unconvinced by the novel claim, which comes to redefine what a black hole is.
The astrophysicists from nine countries, who have published two papers in the astrophysical journals The Astrophysical Journal and The Astrophysical Journal Letters claim that they now have solid evidence for a “cosmological link” between black holes and mysterious dark energy and, by extension, for the connection between black holes and the expanding universe.
Lead researcher Duncan Farah of the University of Hawaii claimed it is the first proposed astrophysical source for dark energy. The team proposes that black holes, the remnants of exploding stars, are the astrophysical origin of dark energy.
The scientists believe that black holes increase in mass over billions of years to an extent that cannot be explained by the relevant theories and counter that they actually harbor dark energy at their core. The new research focused on black holes in ancient and quiet galaxies, where there is no longer much stellar material to ‘swallow’.
It has been estimated that in these relatively dormant galaxies the black holes have masses seven to 20 times greater than they were nine billion years ago, which – the researchers argue – indicates that some other non-exogenous process is feeding them: in their view, it is an endogenous dark energy.
Normally, according to the laws of physics, gravity should cause the gradual slowing down of the growth of the universe, but a mysterious force, proposed in the late 1990s and called dark energy, seems to overcompensate for gravity and lead to the expansion of the universe, and at an accelerated rate.
If large black holes located at the centers of galaxies are indeed the source of universal dark energy, then another cosmic enigma will probably be solved: what happens at the center of a black hole, in the so-called ‘singularity’, where the known laws of physics break down. If there is dark energy at the core of a black hole, then there seems to be no need for ‘singularities’.
(Material from ANA/MPA is used in this article)