Feeds

Boffins in 'let's create black holes in the lab' jape

SQUIDs. Is there anything they can't do?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Boffins in America say they have worked out a method of creating small black holes in the laboratory for experimental purposes. They seem unconcerned at the prospect of possibly destroying the earth, creating a portal into a parallel universe where peckish man-eating dinosaurs rule etc.

Many scientists, of course, have sought to create desktop black holes for various purposes. But thus far people have tended to fool about with such things as supersonic fluid flows, ultracold bose-einstein condensates and nonlinear fibre optic cables. As one might expect this has achieved little.

But now, topflight brains at Dartmouth College* have at last proposed that an array of superconducting quantum interference devices, or SQUIDs, should be placed inside a magnetic field-pulsed microwave transmission line.

This should be done, they say, not for the purpose of creating interdimensional portals or whatnot, but for taking a gander at the "Hawking radiation" which may (or may not) actually be emitted by black holes - which are called "black" because it may (or may not) be completely impossible by definition for any radiation to be emitted from them. The notion of Hawking radiation comes to us, of course, from calculations by renowned wheelchair robo-voice uberboffin Stephen Hawking.

"Hawking famously showed that black holes radiate energy according to a thermal spectrum," says Paul Nation, a grad student at Dartmouth. "His calculations relied on assumptions about the physics of ultra-high energies and quantum gravity. Because we can't yet take measurements from real black holes, we need a way to recreate this phenomenon in the lab in order to study it, to validate it."

"The new SQUID-based proposal may be a more straightforward method to detect the Hawking radiation," adds Prof Miles Blencowe.

The scientists add that their SQUID-tastic desktop collapsar would not be anything like as potentially destructive as the gargantuan galaxy-gobblers sometimes seen (or inferred from things seen, anyway) in the night skies. Indeed, strictly it wouldn't seemingly be an actual pukka black hole at all, just a sort of black-hole-like set of conditions.

The Dartmouth boffins describe it as "reproduction" and "imitation", rather than a genuine rip in the vary fabric of space-time. They add that it would be "much-tinier" than its "celestial counterparts". ®

*Not, of course, the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in Devon, officer academy of the Royal Navy; this is a different and more obscure Dartmouth located in New Hampshire, America.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.