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Will we draw energy from black holes one day? A new study says yes

Mysterious objects can one day become the filling stations of an advanced space civilization.

It comes from the laws of physics that black holes are a source of unimaginable energy. The unanswered question is whether it can be used.

The American-Chilean pair of scientists in the new study argue that yes – there is a way to use it. Physics allows pumped the energy of black, so all we need is enough technological progress.

The research paper was published by the scientific journal Physical Review D.

Soup with magnetic fields

According to physicists, black holes are surrounded by a kind of hot “soup” of a plasma with a magnetic field.

Luca Comisso of Columbia University in New York and Felipe Asenjo of Adolf Ibáñez University in Chile say in a new study that magnetic processes in this region accelerate plasma particles in two different directions.

One of the streams escapes from the area of ​​the black hole, while the other river absorbs the black hole.

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If the absorbed current carries negative energy, the leakage current can use useful energy.

Sweets for weight loss

“Our study shows that when magnetic field lines are disconnected or properly connected, they can accelerate plasma particles to negative energy levels, allowing a large amount of energy to be extracted from the black hole,” says lead author Luca Comisso.

“It’s like a person who would lose weight by eating food with negative calories. This may sound strange, but it happens in the so-called ergosphere.

The ergosphere refers to the area around the event horizon – the boundary from which nothing escapes, not even light rays. Extreme magnetic processes accelerate the plasma particles almost to the speed of light.


Plasma around the black hole event horizon. (Source: news.columbia.edu)

Exceptional efficiency

Study co-author Felipe Asenjo argues that the large difference in velocity between trapped and escaping plasma allows potential to recover huge amount of energy.

“We have calculated that this process can achieve an efficiency of 150 percent, which is much more than any power plant on earth,” says Asenjo.

In comparison, the energy conversion efficiency of nuclear power plants is 33-37 percent.

“Efficiency higher than 100 percent is possible because black holes can leak energy, which is, so to speak, free of plasma escaping from a black hole,” the physicist explained.

Understanding …

Asenjo and Comisso say their hypothesis could help astronomers understand black holes.

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The process described by the American-Chilean pair of scientists can naturally take place in a number of black holes. At the same time, it may pass radiation eruptions that are observed around black holes.

“Our refinement of the processes involved in magnetic fields around black holes can help us understand current and future observations of black holes,” says Felipe Asenjo.

… also practical use

According to a couple of physicists, their hypothesis also suggests that black holes can serve as a source of energy for an advanced cosmic civilization.

“For thousands or millions of years, humanity will not need the energy of the stars, it will be enough to use the energy of black holes. It depends only on the maturity of the available technology. From the point of view of physics, Nothing prevents the pumping of energy from black holes, “says Luca Comisso.

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