White holes are the reverse of black holes, things into which nothing can go but are continually ejecting matter. They were believed to be totally hypothetical, more a mathematical peculiarity than a actual thing…but we may have seen one.
The basic idea behind them is that the laws of physics don’t comply with things that happen in only one direction. In other words, if black holes are present, then it should be promising to reverse the equations leading them so that you get something that’s opposite but otherwise same. That’s what a white hole is.
Of course, just as something can occur going both forwards and backwards in time doesn’t mean that, in practice, we’ll in fact see both of those phenomena. At its most basic form, white holes just wouldn’t be as stable as black holes are, and it appears that they would breakdown almost instantaneously under the weight of its own gravity.
Here’s where things get exciting. A gamma ray burst back in 2006 did not fit with our understanding of where they come from – its long period (102 seconds) meant that it had to be generated in a supernova explosion, and yet there were no supernovas there for it to have come from. Its founders in fact said that “this is brand new area; we have no theories to lead us.”
Years later, it’s being proposed that we might in fact have caught sight of a white hole. The severity and duration of the explosion could well fit with a white hole briefly exploding into existence, spewing out some matter, and then rapidly disintegrating, resulting in this huge burst. Though it’s not the most possible clarification – after all, it appeals something that many astrophysicists have concluded is exceptionally unlikely, verging on impossible – it can’t be instantaneously discounted.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to email@example.com. Follow on Facebook