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Peculiar Black Hole Behavior Now Studied In Labs

First Posted: Mar 27, 2017 06:45 AM EDT
NASA's WISE Telescope Reveals Millions Of Black Holes
In this handout from NASA, an infrared image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) shows millions of quasar candidates (yellow circles), supermassive black holes with masses millions to billions times greater than our Sun.
(Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/Getty Images)

Scientists recently discovered that the law that controls the behavior of black holes in space can also be applicable to cold helium atoms, which can be studied in their own laboratories. This phenomenon is called the "entanglement area law" and it can appear in both the vast scale of outer space and the tiny scales of atoms.

Adrian Del Maestro of the University of Vermont and co-leader of the research said that while this discovery is considered "weird," it does point "to a deeper understanding of reality." According to Pionic, the study was published in the journal Nature Physics.

The study noted that the entanglement area law can be the step toward discovering the quantum theory of gravity and can open to advances in quantum computing. The study of black holes started in the 1970s with famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Jacob Bekenstein. They said that when matter falls into one of the bottomless holes in space, the amount if information it acquires increases only as fast as its surface area increases, but not its volume. This type of law, according to Del Maestro, is the same for the quantum information of superfluid helium.

Science Daily noted that the researchers used two supercomputers to explore the 64 helium atoms in a superfluid and found that the amount of information shared between two regions of a container was determined by the surface area of the sphere, and not its volume. The three-dimensional volume of space is basically encoded in its entirety on a two-dimensional surface, like a black hole.

Because of this, Del Maestro and his team concluded that superfluid helium could be an important resource in the future and could even be fuel to a new generation of quantum computers. However, he warned that "we have to understand more deeply how it works."

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