A recent study suggests the possible existence of “incredibly large black holes” or SLABS, even larger than the supermassive black holes already seen in the centers of galaxies.
The study, led by Professor Maria Maria Bernard Carr of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, along with F. Kunel (Munich) and L. Vizinelli (Frascati), examines how these SLABs can be formed and potential limits on their size.
Although there is evidence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galactic nuclei – with masses between one million and ten billion times the size of the Sun – previous studies have suggested an upper limit on their size due to our current view of how black holes form and grow. .
The existence of SLABS even greater than this could provide researchers with a powerful tool for cosmological tests and improve our understanding of the early universe.
Challenging existing ideas
It is widely believed that SMBHs form in a host galaxy and grow to large sizes, absorbing stars and gas from the environment or merging with other black holes. In this case, there is an upper limit, a little over ten billion solar masses, on their mass.
In this study, researchers suggest another possibility for the formation of SMBH, which can avoid this limit. They suggest that such SLABs could be “primary”, forming in the early universe and long before galaxies.
Because “primary” black holes are not formed by a collapsing star, they can have a wide range of masses, including very small and incredibly large ones.
Professor Bernard Carr said: “We already know that black holes exist in a wide range of masses, with SMBH of four million solar masses living at the center of our own galaxy. Although there is currently no evidence of SLAB, they may exist. to reside outside galaxies in intergalactic space with interesting observational consequences. Surprisingly, however, the idea of SLAB has so far been ignored. “
“We have proposed options for how these SLABs can be formed, and we hope that our work will begin to motivate community discussions.”
Understanding dark matter
Dark matter is estimated to make up about 80 percent of the ordinary mass of the universe. While we can’t see it, researchers believe that dark matter exists because of its gravitational effects on visible matter, such as stars and galaxies. However, we still do not know what dark matter is.
Primary black holes are one of the potential candidates. The idea of their existence can be traced back to the 1970s, when Professor Carr and Professor Stephen Hawking suggested that in the early days of the universe, fluctuations in its density could have caused some regions to collapse into black holes. .
“SLABs themselves could not provide dark matter,” said Professor Carr, “but if they existed at all, it would have important consequences for the early universe and would make the brighter primary black holes plausible.”
Primary black holes and the search for dark matter from the multiverse
Bernard Carr et al. Limitations for incredibly large black holes, Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2020). DOI: 10.1093 / mnras / staa3651
Provided by Queen Mary, University of London
Quote: Scientists find that black holes can reach “incredibly large sizes” (2021, January 21), retrieved on January 21, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-scientists-black- holes-stupendiously-large.html
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