A research team is making the extraordinary claim that some black holes might erase your past if you fall into them.
Scientists have long believed that while black holes warp space and time, we would not experience their physics-bending effects because they would kill us. But a research team in California claims that a type of black hole may exist that is not only survivable, but it would erase your past and present you with infinite futures.
Thanks to the laws of physics in the known universe, it is possible to mathematically determine one’s future based on their past, although it would be extremely difficult. But these black holes would cause the complete breakdown of physical laws, says a new paper from scientists at the University of California at Berkeley, such that that would no longer be possible, and you had no past at all – and therefore unlimited futures.
It’s an astonishing claim that throws into question our very understand of existence itself, and at the very least opens up an exciting new scientific avenue for understanding the mysterious phenomena known as black holes.
“In the real world, your past uniquely determines your future. If a physicist knows how the universe starts out, she can calculate its future for all time and all space,” reads the UC Berkeley statement. “But a UC Berkeley mathematician has found some types of black holes in which this law breaks down. If someone were to venture into one of these relatively benign black holes, they could survive, but their past would be obliterated and they could have an infinite number of possible futures.
“Such claims have been made in the past, and physicists have invoked “strong cosmic censorship” to explain it away. That is, something catastrophic – typically a horrible death – would prevent observers from actually entering a region of spacetime where their future was not uniquely determined. This principle, first proposed 40 years ago by physicist Roger Penrose, keeps sacrosanct an idea – determinism – key to any physical theory. That is, given the past and present, the physical laws of the universe do not allow more than one possible future.”