According to a mind-bending new theory, a black hole could actually be a tunnel between universes, meaning our universe may be nested inside a black hole that is part of a larger universe. The theory explains that the matter doesn’t collapse into a single point, but rather gushes out a “white hole” at the other end of the black one.
The theory was published in the journal Physics Letters B, by Indiana University physicist Nikodem Poplawski. In his article, he presents new mathematical models of the spiraling motion of matter falling into the black hole. His equations suggest that wormholes are probable alternatives to the “space-time singularities” originally predicted by Albert Einstein.
Einstein’s equations for general relativity suggest singularities are created whenever matter in a given region gets too dense as would happen at the center of a black hole. Singularities are infinitely dense and hot, and take up no space. This idea has been supported by indirect evidence but has never been fully accepted into the scientific community.
Now, Poplawski could have solved this problem. His equations explain that the matter absorbed by black holes is expelled to become the building blocks for alternate galaxies, stars, and planets. This theory could explain long-standing mysteries in modern cosmology.
The big bang theory, for example, says the universe began as a singularity—but scientists have no explanation for how this initial singularity formed in the first place. If our universe was birthed by a white hole instead, “it would solve this problem of black hole singularities and also the big bang singularity.”
Poplawski also proposes that gamma ray bursts may be discharges of matter from alternate universes. He believes the matter might be escaping into our universe through supermassive black holes at the heart of alternate galaxies. At this point, there is no evidence to support that idea.
Interestingly, the new model is not the first to propose that other universes exist inside black holes.
“What is new here is an actual wormhole solution in general relativity that acts as the passage from the exterior black hole to the new interior universe,” Damien Easson, a theoretical physicist who made the speculation in previous studies, notes. “In our paper, we just speculated that such a solution could exist, but Poplawski has found an actual solution.”
That solution is in the form of equations but is still highly speculative. Future work in quantum gravity could refine the equations and either support or disprove Poplawski’s theory, Easson claims.