Microscopic Black Holes

Black Holes in Atom

A wild new theory suggests that the cosmos may be studded with black holes so tiny they could slide in between atoms.

This new study shows that we could be making this teensy distinctiveness all the time at the world’s largest atom smasher. This could result in a window into the mysterious nature of gravity if somehow we can make these objects.

As far we know at this time, we have four fundamental forces of nature namely- electromagnetism, strong force, weak force, and gravity. All four forces have different carriers, operate at different ranges, have different strengths, and interact in different ways.

And no matter how you bifurcate these forces, the weakest among themselves is gravity. Even if the present amount of gravity is multiplied billions of billion times then it would still be the weakest force by a multiplicative factor of about 10 million.

Tiny Black Hole
Tiny Black Hole

Beating gravity

Now move ahead by lifting the phone on your head. BTW congrats! You managed to defeat the gravitational pull of the entire planet Earth. The main question of concern among the physicists is that why is it so weak. Everyone is in the need of an explanation that why is it so odd and strange. Another question of concern along with this gravity-is-so-weirdly-weak problem is how the fundamental forces are tied together.

The electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces at high energies merge together into a single-unified force called the electroweak force. There is evidence that the strong nuclear force also joins the unification party at even higher energies and gravity merges with the other forces at exceedingly high energies. But this is not possible for time being at least as the required energy is so high that we couldn’t hope to reach the level even if we make a particle accelerator of the size of our galaxy.

Gravity is weak and at the same time takes so much energy to potentially merge it with the other forces, why is it so?

The simple and short answer to this question is- we don’t know. Many theorists state in the hypothesis that there lot more than we see through our eyes in the Universe. There are other spatial dimensions than the three we know of. So apart from the usual up-down, left-right, and back-forth directions, there is one more present in the Universe.

Another Dimension, Except 3D

This extra dimension may answer potential explanation for the weakness of gravity that our universe is embedded in a much vaster and higher-dimensional bulk made of the extra dimension, isn’t it amazing to just read this and what if- it is true.

So gravity is weak due to the reason that unlike the other forces, gravity gets to roam freely among all the dimensions rather than constraining it to the 3D Universe. This makes it a weaker force as it is diluted.

Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider

Simulated models can be used to merge gravity at much lower energy levels since gravity is so strong. So we will not need a galaxy-sized particle accelerator to witness the gravity joining the unification party. A far smaller accelerator would be needed for this experiment. We could take a 16.5-mile-long (27 kilometers) ring on the border of France and Switzerland called the Large Hadron Collider where protons are sent smashing into each other at near light-speed.

Will LHC be able to spot those hidden extra dimensions and if yes, then how? The production of microscopic black holes could be one of the ways to do so. If we try and make a black hole, we will require an insane amount of density and pressure to form a black hole, in simpler words we could say that it would be compressing matter so that it collapses to a point of infinite density is not an easy trick. And what the theory says is true i.e. gravity is as weak as it seems, then we don’t have a nearly adequate amount of energy inside the LHC to make it possible.

We could easily overwhelm the other forces of nature and produce black holes if the force of gravity is a lot stronger. And if the gravity was already strong enough then we could be producing tiny black holes already in the LHC right now.

Not Alarming Black Holes

And these black holes are not the swallowers of galaxies, so it’s not an alarm as they would evaporate in less than 10^minus 27 seconds, transmuting into a shower of particles well in time before they did something interesting like swallowing Earth. But till now, no such thing has been noticed particle sprays suggestive of microscopic black holes or extra dimensions.

Something is being missed out according to a team of theoretical physicists in these previous calculations of how often the LHC would create microscopic black holes and simple assumptions were made about how the black holes would form and how they would interact with the universe around them.

Black holes caught in the act of swallowing stars
Black holes caught in the act of swallowing stars

Assuming the group’s more precise calculations with all those extra dimensions exist and gravity is secretly super strong then the LHC can produce far fewer microscopic black holes than they formerly realized.  The number of these teensy black holes could be as low as one-tenth of the previous estimates depending on the number of hypothetical extra dimensions.

So it means that we still have hope of searching the extra dimensions and gravity’s potential hidden strength. Before running these models out, we may just have to keep running the LHC longer.

And somehow we can prove the appearance of a microscopic black hole in our data, it will help us see the larger framework of the Universe. Hence this will change our understanding of gravity.



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