Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scientists Make Desktop Black Hole


Two Chinese scientists have successfully made an artificial black hole. Since you’re still reading this, it’s safe to say that Earth hasn’t been sucked into its vortex.

That’s because a black hole doesn’t technically require a massive, highly concentrated gravitational field that prevents light from escaping, as postulated by Albert Einstein. It just needs to capture light — or, to be more precise, electromagnetic radiation, of which visually perceived light is one form.

em_blackholeThe desktop black hole, described in a paper submitted to arXiv on Monday, is made from 60 concentrically arranged layers of circuit board. Each layer is coated in copper and printed with patterns that alternately vibrate or don’t vibrate in response to electromagnetic waves.

Together, the patterns completely absorbed microwave radiation coming from any direction, and converted their energy to heat.

Like a near-black hole designed earlier this year and made from photon-absorbing carbon nanotubes, the material could be used in solar energy panels.

Image: arXiv