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Beyond Science Fiction! Extracting Energy from Black Holes

By Dr. Inés Urdaneta, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In 1969, Roger Penrose proposed a method to extract rotational energy of a rotating black hole, and suggested that an advanced civilization could achieve it by lowering and then releasing a mass from a structure that is co-rotating with the black hole. The process would occur in the region just outside the event horizon, called the ergosphere, where frame-dragging is at its strongest, being able to tear apart an object; one part would enter the event horizon while the remaining one would be accelerated outwards with an additional impulse given by the rotational energy of the black hole. The excess energy calculated by Penrose was estimated to be 21 percent more than the incoming energy.

The process is brilliantly explained in this video:

Inspired by Penrose’s idea, Yakov Zel’dovich...

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Frame-Dragging Caught in Action

astrophysics science news Feb 14, 2020
by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Research Scientist

An astrophysical system has just demonstrated frame dragging for the first time.

The dragging of space time by a rotating mass, otherwise known as frame-dragging, was predicted by Einstein’s general relativity. Einstein postulated that not only does a mass curve spacetime, but it will also drag local spacetime into motion around itself as it rotates, much like the air in a tornado. The amount of drag is thus directly proportional to the spin.

A few years later, in 1918, Austrian physicists Josef Lense and Hans Thirring predicted that the dragging of spacetime due to a rotating celestial body – frame-dragging – would force a nearby orbiting body into precession. That is, the closer you are to the rotating body, the more you are pulled around with it – which for another rotating body forces its axis of rotation to continuously change direction with the changing pull along the orbit. This effect is now...

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The Rotating Universe

By William Brown, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

When looking back into the deep past of the Universe, which means looking out over vast cosmological distances of space, there are observed a peculiar set of galaxies emitting a tremendous amount of energy. These early galaxies, known variously as quasars, blazars, radio galaxies and radio-loud quasars, are all bodies classified as active galactic nuclei. These objects are some of the most energetic phenomena in the universe, if the name blazar was not at all evident of this fact. Active galactic nuclei represent a confirmation of physicist Nassim Haramein’s prediction that black holes are the spacetime structure that forms the seed around which galaxies and stars form. Indeed, it is now widely understood that the early formation of galaxies, producing active galactic nuclei, are in fact due to the action of supermassive black holes – black holes in upwards of a million to a billion solar masses.


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Is the Universe Expanding at an Accelerated Rate?

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Astrophysicist

A new study challenges the cosmological model and suggests that the universe is not expanding at an accelerated rate.

The standard model of cosmology assumes that the universe is isotropic with no preferred direction and no preferred frame of reference; that is, we are not special and our position in the universe is not from a privileged vantage point. Within this framework, observational data led us to the conclusion that 70% of the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, and this accelerating force is due to an unknown form of energy known as ‘dark energy’. This so-called ‘dark energy’ is now thought to be due to quantum fluctuations of the vacuum energy.

However, a new study by a team of European scientists explored these ideas further. They wanted to see what would happen when they measure the deceleration parameter – the measurement of cosmic acceleration – from our...

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Was a Star Ejected from Our Central Black Hole?

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Astrophysicist

Generally thought to be the point of no return, our very own black hole seems to have ejected a star at hyper velocity.

In something known as the Hills mechanism – which occurs in binary star systems when they are disrupted by a super massive black hole – the stars are pulled apart and left to continue on their separate journeys. The closest star is pulled into an orbit around the black hole while the other is ejected at extremely high velocity. However, although this was proposed in 1988 by astronomer Jack Hills, it has never been confirmed.

Now, a worldwide team of scientists led by Ting Li have observed what they believe to be the first example of such a mechanism.

The team utilised data from the 3.9 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope as part of the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey – a survey that aims to map the kinematics and chemistry of long, dense regions of stars, known as...

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Could the Information Paradox Finally Be Resolved?

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Astrophysicist

The information paradox may finally be resolved with the help of the holographic theory – but this time on a fractal scale.

Ever since Hawking predicted the thermal emission of black holes and their subsequent evaporation, the question arose as to where this information goes. In the context of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics – which states that the information about a system is entirely encoded in its wave function – information is always conserved. Thus, any loss in information, like that predicted by Hawking and his evaporating black holes, would violate quantum theory. This problem is known as the information paradox.

To resolve this paradox, physicists have been actively looking for a mechanism to explain how the information of the infalling particles re-emerges in the outgoing radiation. To begin, they need to determine the entropy of the Hawking radiation.

Assuming the...

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Ancient Light Suggests Universe Could Loop Back on Itself!

by Dr. Inés Urdaneta, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Image: The cosmic microwave background as seen by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

The photo above is quite common among astronomers and astrophysicists. It depicts what is known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the very ancient light coming from the beginnings of our universe. It is supposed to be the leftovers of the grand explosion birthing our Universe, called the Big Bang.

When analyzing the expansion of the universe, astrophysicists imagined that the expansion could be rewinded, just like a film, and that this backward movement would show the collapse into a singularity. Together with the astronomical observations of the CMB radiation, they concluded that the universe had to be flat. But recent observations with better precision are showing a different picture. An anomaly in data from the best-ever measurement of the CMB is offering...

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The Far Reaches of the Cosmic Web

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

Galaxies seem to be communicating with each other across vast distances never thought possible before, putting the cosmological principle into question again.

These gravitationally bound structures consisting of gas, dust and trillions of stars exist in the trillions. Most observed galaxies are spiral galaxies like our very own Milky Way, with others being elliptical, lenticular or irregular. The formation and evolution of a galaxy is generally revealed in galactic kinematics, particularly the rotation which is constrained by the conservation of angular momentum. Through studying the rotation of galaxies, scientists can thus infer how the galaxy was formed and how it evolved. Did it form from a rotating dust cloud? Did it evolve as a merger?

As would be expected, galactic behaviour – including its rotation – is influenced by that of its neighbours. However, in a recent report, Korean scientists Joon...

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The Expanding Universe

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Research Scientist

The universe now seems to be expanding at a rate even faster than previously thought.

Since first proposed by George Lemaitre and the subsequent confirmation by Edwin Hubble’s observational studies of galactic recession velocities, the expansion of the universe has long been a topic of debate. Improved methods along with differing techniques has continuously yielded discrepancies. For example, techniques utilizing standard candles, in the form of Supernovae Type 1a, Cepheid variables or Quasars, for nearby observations of the modern universe yields higher values than those found from the distant Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) observations of the early universe.

Now a team of scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found the highest value yet, suggesting that the universe is expanding at an even greater rate than previously thought.

The team led by Geoff Chen combined new adaptive optics...

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Unexpected Dip in Gamma Rays from the Sun

by Dr. Amira Val Baker, Resonance Science Foundation Astrophysicist

The sun radiates at a range of energies from the high-energy range to the low-energy range. However, new data, spanning this broad energy range, reveals just how much we don’t know about our own star.

The gamma-rays we observe from the Sun are thought to be due to the interactions of hadronic cosmic rays with the solar atmosphere. Although gamma rays are produced in the solar interior, they are thought to leave the sun as much lower energy waves due to scattering effects. Back in 1991 David Seckel, Todor Stanev and Thomas Gaisser thus proposed that cosmic rays from outer space would be turned around or “mirrored” before entering the sun, thus emerging as a faint glow of gamma-rays. However, the underlying mechanism responsible for the production of these gamma rays is not fully understood – all that is known is that its efficiency must be enhanced by magnetic field interactions. Read more ...

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