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Are there energy sources in deep space as well?  Yes, they are black holes (at least in theory).

Are there energy sources in deep space as well? Yes, they are black holes (at least in theory).

There are areas in it It is difficult to draw a clear line that can separate science from science fictionsuch as astronomy (whether from the point of view of observing celestial bodies or space missions), where it can be said that not only The human imagination has often anticipated discoveries and approved conclusionsafter rigorous calculations and experiments, by academics, but in some cases It was a source of inspiration For some of the devices used in space today.

TechniqueThe art of paper cutting and shapingFor example, which according to some sources was created in 610 AD in Japan by a Buddhist monk to honor the emperor, today It was used by the California Institute of Technology to send DOLCE (Deployable On-Orbit Ultralight Composite Experiment) into space.

Once deployed, this structure (measuring approximately 183 x 183 cm) created the first space power station, which is currently being tested. Here are the articles we devoted to the Caltech project:

A sun that never sets: Here are space solar panels to produce electricity without stopping;

The California Institute of Technology has launched its SSP program into orbit: experimenting with direct energy production in space has officially begun;

Caltech did it! It works by transmitting electricity wirelessly;

that there may be other sources of energy in space (in addition to those of stellar origin), and that black holes in particular could be exploited in this sense, a “ball” Which scientists have lived with for several decades, since Einstein formulated the theory of relativity.Study from Columbia University (New York) Dell 2021 He gave new impetus to this possibility by assuming that energy could actually be extracted From black holes through “Reconnecting magnetic field lines”.

The roots of this hypothesis go back to the work, studies and research carried out so far by many academics. Starting with the British mathematician and physicist Roger PenroseWho hypothesized that decaying particles could derive energy from a black hole. Accordingly Stephen Hawking It was suggested that black holes could release energy through quantum mechanical emission, while… Roger Blandford and Roman Znajek They proposed electromagnetic torque as a key factor for energy extraction.

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Physicists Luca Commisso of Columbia University and Felipe Asenjo of the Adolfo Ipez University in Chile discovered (theoretically) A new way to extract energy from black holes, breaking and reconnecting magnetic field lines neighbor “On the event horizon”Or the point at which nothing, not even light, can escape the black hole's gravity.

from An animation created by NASA illustrates “Anatomy” From the black hole.

Black holes as a source of space energy

The study was conducted by academics funded by the project “Windows on the universe” It was published by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development of Chile in the journal Physical Review D with the title “Magnetic reconnection as a mechanism for extracting energy from rotating black holes”.

“Black holes are typically surrounded by a hot 'soup' of plasma particles carrying a magnetic field.”Luca Commisso, a researcher at Columbia University and first author of the study, said. “Our theory shows that when magnetic field lines separate and reconnect, in the right way, they can accelerate plasma particles toward negative energies and large amounts of black hole energy can be extracted.”.

If this intuition turns out to be correct And achievableAstronomy scientists They will be able to better estimate the rotation of black holes, to direct the energy emissions released by black holes Above all, Commisso and Asenjo They would have discovered a perfect, inexhaustible source of energy.

To understand exactly what the two university students' hypothesis was based on, Commisso used this image:

“Suppose it is possible to lose weight by eating negative-calorie sweets; in our reality, such a possibility is not realizable, but in a region called the ergosphere.” [ovvero dove la riconnessione magnetica cos estrema che le particelle del plasma vengono accelerate a velocit prossime a quella della luce] The space-time continuum is rotating so fast that every object is rotating in the same direction as the black hole, causing the latter (in our example, the person who wants to lose weight) to lose energy (i.e. calories) by “eating” negative particles. Energy (the negative calories mentioned before)”.

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Black holes as a source of space energy

From here Comiso and Asenjo They built their theory on the premise that reconnecting magnetic fields would accelerate plasma particles in opposite directions: While this is plasma flow It is pressed Black hole rotation, the other It is pushed in a direction Rotating, escaping the black hole's gravity, thus releasing energy, provided the encased plasma is negatively charged.

Black holes as a source of space energy

Asenjo, a professor of physics at Adolfo Ipez University, explained this The high relative velocity between the captured and leaking plasma flows is what allows the hypothesized process to workExtracting huge amounts of energy from a black hole.

“We calculated that the process of plasma activation Can reach 150% efficiencyMuch higher than any power station operating on Earth.”“, commented Asenjo. “It arrives Efficiency can exceed 100% because black holes lose energyWhich is given free of charge for the plasma that comes out of it.”.

The two academics see this Their theory has already been proven true by black holes themselvesbecause it will be a reason for them TorchesOr powerful radiation explosions that can be detected even from Earth.

The scientific community, no matter how impressed it may be by the intuition of academics, asserts (rightly) A lukewarm attitude towards theoryat least as long as it is not confirmed.

“The ideas and concepts discussed in this work are truly fascinating.”said Vyacheslav Lukin, program director at the National Science Foundation “We look forward to the potential translation of seemingly esoteric studies of black hole astrophysics into the practical domain.”

I'm also of the same opinion, which is that black holes can provide energy Zhan Feng Mai and Run Qiu Yang, researchers at the Department of Physics at Tianjin University (China)who published their conclusions, also based on the work of Commisso and Asenjo, in the journal Physical Review D at the end of 2023 with the title “Black holes as rechargeable batteries and nuclear reactors”.

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According to their study, Mathematical equations confirm what the two academics hypothesized, so yes, theoretically it is possible to think about exploiting the gravitational force of a black hole to generate electricity But which black hole?

The two Chinese scientists said this “in los” Which There are different types of black holes (Our classifications so far define three different classes, based on their mass: supermassive, intermediate mass, and stellar mass.) None of it It seems to be the right size to serve as a power plant.

Beyond that, based on the concrete data we currently have, we don't even know with There are black holes suitable for this use: ideally they can be defined as black holes “primitive”but so far We have no scientific evidence Their presence.

Black holes as a source of space energy

Primordial black holes are small objects, precisely by virtue of their existence “Cuts” Contained, they could be “evaporated” Over time due to a quantum process (also hypothesized in this case) known as Hawking radiation, which would have consumed it.

but, Larger primordial black holes may still exist In some corners of the universe, they can It confirms (partially) the calculations and theories of Commisso and Asenjo.

Secondo Zhan Feng Mai E Run Qi Yang, Invati, method “correct” Using black holes as energy sources will be through a process “recharge” Providing alpha particles (obtained by radioactive decay) which will be converted into positrons, the antiparticles of electrons, by the black holes themselves.

perfect This process will allow the equivalent of 25% to be recovered in the form of energy of the mass of molecules “He feeds” To the primordial black hole.