That was the shocking headline in 2005 in prestigious scientific journal Nature:
Black holes are staples of science fiction and many think astronomers have observed them indirectly. But according to a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, these awesome breaches in space-time do not and indeed cannot exist.
Black holes are one of the most celebrated predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which explains gravity as the warping of space-time caused by massive objects. The theory suggests that a sufficiently massive star, when it dies, will collapse under its own gravity to a single point.
George Chapline thinks that the collapse of the massive stars, which was long believed to generate black holes, actually leads to the formation of stars that contain dark energy. “It’s a near certainty that black holes don’t exist,” he claims.
But Einstein didn’t believe in black holes, Chapline argues. “Unfortunately”, he adds, “he couldn’t articulate why.” At the root of the problem is the other revolutionary theory of twentieth-century physics, which Einstein also helped to formulate: quantum mechanics.
In general relativity, there is no such thing as a ‘universal time’ that makes clocks tick at the same rate everywhere. Instead, gravity makes clocks run at different rates in different places. But quantum mechanics, which describes physical phenomena at infinitesimally small scales, is meaningful only if time is universal; if not, its equations make no sense.
Is Chapline alone in his views? Turns out Nobel Prize Winner Robert Laughlin co-authored papers with Chapline on the topic:
I have no opinion, except to say, “Black holes have to be real, they told me so in school.”
1. The paper lists Laughlin at the Los Alamos National Laboratories
Creationist John Baumgardner also works at the Los Alamos National Laboratories.
2. even though the headline is old, I wasn’t aware of it until it came up in the discussion on distant starlight
Distant Starlight the thorn in the side of YEC
3. HT: UD commenter butifnot for linking to the scandalous website that got me thinking of these things a little more:
Comment on Distant Starlight
4. This has relevance to cosmology, which has some relevance to ID and a lot of relevance to creationist cosmology.