Do Time and Space Exist at the Smallest Scales? Resolving the Black Hole Paradoxes

This artist's impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

An artist’s impression of a supermassive black hole. Black holes are rife with paradoxes, but a new theory suggests that they can all be resolved by agreeing that space and time break down at very small scales. Image credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

We’ve come a long way in 13.8 billion years; but despite our impressively extensive understanding of the Universe, there are still a few strings left untied. For one, there is the oft-cited disconnect between general relativity, the physics of the very large, and quantum mechanics, the physics of the very small. Then there is problematic fate of a particle’s intrinsic information after it falls into a black hole. Now, a new interpretation of fundamental physics attempts to solve both of these conundrums by making a daring claim: at certain scales, space and time simply do not exist.

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© Vanessa Janek for Universe Today, 2015. |
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