New research suggests that five-dimensional black holes could break Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
These 5D black holes don’t actually exist, they are a model. A theoretical model that points out exactly why we live in a four dimensional universe.
Ulrich Sperhake, a theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge in England speaks on the matter “Here we may have a first glimpse that four space-time dimensions is a very, very good choice, because otherwise, something pretty bad happens in the universe,” If five dimensions were to exist, general relativity becomes a big mess.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity describes how matter can warp space time. Its possible it predicted it’s own demise in the form of singularities (infinitely curved regions of space time) where the laws of physics break down. Yet these very singularities produced a save for the theory in the event horizon of black holes.
“Even though you have a singularity, it’s pretty nicely contained in a high-security lunatic asylum, and it cannot affect anything on the outside. This means that general relativity is still perfectly able to explain the entire evolution of the entire universe outside this tiny singularity.” Sperhake tells Live Science.
The idea that singularities can be safely contained is known as the cosmic censorship theorem and has held up virtually everywhere in the universe.
Pushing The Limits Of Cosmic Censorship
Scientists wanted to dig deeper into cosmic censorship. But Kunesch, Pau Figueras, and Saran Tunyasuvunakool of the University of Cambridge took up the task by proposing the idea that “naked singularities” exist outside of black holes, and that if this is true it implies Einstein’s theory of relativity would falter throughout our cosmos. Yet Einstein’s theory has passed every single test it’s faced.
It is very unlikely that these five dimensional relativity breaking black holes actually exist, for if that were true, its theorized we need extra dimensions. String theory does predict that existence of up to 27 dimensions, but our understanding of their existence is too fickle to make any concrete claims.
The Goldilocks Zone
The findings help us to paint a picture of our cosmos in which our entire universe inhabits a “goldilocks zone” similar to our earths relationship to the sun; if gravity had been stronger, its likely that our universe could have collapsed soon after the big bang. If it were weaker, no stars could have potentially formed. If electromagnetism were different, chemistry as we know it would change, and so on.
Now it seems that the number of dimensions we live in can be added into this equation. For if there were any more, the future behaviours of our observable universe would not be easily predicted as they are.
“It’s quite remarkable that, more than 100 years after Einstein’s theory was written down, we still don’t fully understand what solutions to Einstein’s equations look like. We still need to establish whether it is completely consistent theoretically. There are still lots of open questions, both on the theoretical level but also on the more experimental level.” Markus Kunesch, applied mathematics and theoretical physics doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge.
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