And the Importance of Theoretics

Albert Einstein published the Theory of General Relativity in 1916. The math entailed in that theory predicted the possibility for the existence of Black Holes. And even though Einstein himself was skeptical of their actual existence, they were not only proven to exist in the later-discovery of Cignus X-1 in 1964, but proven to be relatively abundant among the sprawling cosmos, with many other Black Hole discoveries since then.

While one possible outcome of the math constituting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, Black Holes, has received its well deserved and proper due in reality — another mathematical prediction of that theory — is still waiting in the wings of obscurity and fantasy, White Holes.

Most of us are fairly familiar with Black Holes; incredibly small and dense points in space, with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing can escape it. But a White Hole, howeveris something that most of us probably never even heard of, let alone are familiar with.

In Mathematics we have something called an Inversewhere one function ‘reverses’ another function, such as Subtraction being the Inverse of Addition, or Division being the Inverse of Multiplication.

We can easily visualize Inverses by reading the following operations forwards and backwards:

Division/Multiplication Inverse: 2×5=10 and 10÷5=2.

This simplification, or idea of Mathematical Inverses, essentially demonstrates the prediction of the existence of White Holes and what they might be: the Inverse of a Black Hole — or, a Black Hole in ‘reverse’. The polar-opposite of a Black Hole — where nothing can “escape” the event horizon of a Black Hole, and anything that gets too close is pulled into the ominous dark void with tremendous force — nothing can “enter” the event horizon of a White Hole, and anything that gets close is pushed away with equal force.

And although we’ve yet to discover or observe a White Hole, we’ve also technically never seen or observed a Black Hole either.

# Invisible Things

In order to “see” something we need Light. And Light is an electromagnetic wave that is emitted by, or reflects off of an object, and then travels into our eyes, at which point our brain is able to formulate an image of the object that we are looking at.

Thus, a Black Hole has never been seen or observed directly, not even Cignus X-1, because absolutely nothing can escape their powerful gravity, not even Photons (tiny particles of light); therefore, Black Holes do not reflect and/or emit any light… So how do we know they exist?

In Science there are many things that we cannot directly observe, yet we are certain that they exist. Take the Atom for instance, an Atom is so incredibly small that no one alive has ever been able to even ‘see’ one. Yes, that’s correct, we have never actually ‘seen’ an Atom, not even through our most powerful Microscopes.

An individual Atom is so small it has no distinct shape, form or body, in reality. We only know it is symmetrically “spherical” in the sense that it reacts the same way from any side it is approached. And because of this we have to apply physical properties to it (for which it escapes) in order to even visualize it in our minds. In an analogical nod to Astrophysics (and for scale), think of an Atom as a miniature Solar System:its Nucleus, composed of Protons and Neutrons, would make up a Sun and 99.98% of its mass at its center, and its Electrons would be like tiny orbiting planets — so tiny that they can’t even be pinned down to a physical location with any certainty — and instead are represented by a cloud of ‘probability’ (an area of chance where a particular Electron might be found at any given time and distance from its Nucleus).

Which means (like our Solar System) an Atom is made up of 99.99% empty space; and because Atoms are so preposterously small and “sizably-empty”, Photons (particles that make up electromagnetic waves of light), with barely anything to reflect off of, simply pass right through an Atom, rendering it completely invisible to us.

Atthis point, if you are a sane and rational person, you may be wondering: If we cannot see Atoms then how do we know that they actually exist? I mean how could we believe in something without being able to see it? …Now who was it that said Scientists didn’t have Faith? …actually, they don’t need to have faith, at least not in the case of Atoms.

We know Atoms exist, not only because we can witness their effect on a slightly larger scale of molecular structure and make mathematical predictions pertaining to them with unbelievably convincing accuracy, but by accelerating these particles to great speeds in a vacuum and smashing them into things, we can create magnificent and visible displays of energy (proof).

In short, we know that Atoms exist because we can witness their effects on other observable natural phenomenon, similar to the fact that we know Gravity exists even though we cannot ‘see’ it directly. It is simply a name we have given to an invisible or intangible (but completely real) object or force.

Similarly, in the case of the first Black Hole ever discovered, Cignus X-1, its presence was identified through a phenomenon known as Doppler Shifting. Astronomers realized some distant star’s light strangely flickered from blue to red over time. And because Blue light’s wavelength is shorter than Red light’s, this flickering or changing of color was determined to be that this star was orbiting some other invisible object — shining red light (longer wavelength) as it moved further away from us, and blue light (shorter wavelength) when moving closer to us — even though they could not seem to observe this other invisible object dubbed Cygnus X-1. And as it turned out, it was a Black Hole with a star partner orbiting it, a binary system- which was later further proved via advancements in X-ray observation.

And so, invisible White Holes may just be waiting around the corner of advancement themselves.

# Universal Yin & Yang

Black Holes are believed to form from the death’s of super-massive stars, or Supernova. Stars, like our Sun, are more like a process rather than an object, massive nuclear reactions, the mass fusion of atoms floating out in space spewing enormous amounts of heat and energy outward in all directions, while being held together by the powerful gravitational pull of their own weight.

The fusion of lighter atoms like hydrogen and helium vibrantly burn on a Star’s surface, but the fusion of heavier atoms- such as helium and carbon, or silicon and iron fall inward building up at its core, adding to its density. Eventually, its core becomes so dense that the gravitational force keeping it together fails (gravitational collapse), resulting in an explosion (a Supernova), instantly and violently hurling all its remaining contents (outside its core) out into the surrounding area of space, while its core instantly collapses in on itself into an ‘indivisibly’ small point in space with an ‘infinitely’ high density, known as Singularity- or a Black Hole.

While nothing escapes Black Holes, because of their unfathomable density, they do, emit a portion of their mass in the form of radiation (X-rays), a radiation that was crucial in identifying the first Black Hole, Cignus X-1. And thus, Black Holes, given enough time,with nothing around them, with no matter to gobble up, would lose more mass than they gain, and start to shrink, eventually shriveling up, and disappearing altogether.

Theoretically — in an attempt to marry Classic Physics and Particle Physics: if the fabric of space-time were Quantum– which means made up of an absolute smallest and ‘indivisible’ quantities, knows as Quanta. Once a radioactively-evaporating Black Hole reached this absolute smallest size, and could not shrink any smaller, it would rebound to form a White Hole — creating sort of a point in space so ‘empty’, rather than dense like a Black Hole, that it pushes anything that gets close to it away, much in the opposite manner that a Black Hole pulls things in.

# Cosmic Conjecture

Now White Holes are only theoretical, but Black Holes started as an idea once upon a time as well, and they not only since been proven to exist, but have been found to exist all over our Observable Universe; in fact, there is a super massive Black Hole at the center of our very own Galaxy, and it is theorized that every Galaxy contains a sizable Black Hole at its center as well, sustaining the motion of said Galaxy, with its immensely powerful Gravity.

One of the biggest mysteries in the Universe exists within the phenomenon of the Expansion of the Universe; we know for certain that the Universe is expanding but we aren’t sure what is causing it- but similarly to other invisible things in existence and Science, we think it is caused by Dark Energy — the ‘expansion’ of the universe is in a sense the ‘effect’ on other natural phenomenon we can observe that lends credence to the existence of this mysterious and ‘invisible force’ we call Dark Energy.

Could White Holes have something to do with this expanding mystery? Could they be the catalysts behind Dark Energy? Could it be that while Black Holes are the forces trying to bring this Universe together, White Holes are actively working against those aims, by pushing the Universe apart?

Or is the answer to this cosmic-mathematical riddle something even more outrageous? …as is often the case, the truth is stranger than fiction — for the answer could involve the Big Bang, and the Cosmic Microwave Background being the remnant of a primordial White Hole that created the entire universe…

…or it could involve ‘tears in the fabric of space-time’ — with Black Holes and White Holes simply serving as opposite ends of Wormholes. I mean where would all that light being propelled from a White Hole come from anyway, if not from a Black Hole in another universe or dimension?

Ofcourse, this is all theoretical (for now), as White Holes, unlike theirBlack Hole cousins, have yet to be discovered; but that could be because they are invisible, not interacting with the electromagnetic spectrum (light), or we’ve confused them with extremely bright Supernova, or they’re simply pushing themselves so far away from us so fast (faster than the speed of light) that we couldn’t ever even possibly catch a glimpse of them.

No matter though — it’s only important to realize that just because it is ‘theoretical’ it doesn’t mean it isn’t ‘possible’.

According to Fitch’s Paradox of Knowability in principle all truths are knowable. And so, if we consider all that there is to know in the entire universe as being attainable (or knowable) and measure it against human beings‘ impressive body of knowledge (or the amount that we do know), then in comparison, we know next to nothing.

But the Paradox also argues that “unknown truths” (meaning truths that exist beyond our current awareness) are unknowable. So in essence, the ‘questions’ we ask become just as important (if not more so) than the actual ‘answers’. For, you cannot answer a question that you did not ‘think’ to ask… and that is the paramount importance of Theoretics to Science.