According to mainstream astrophysicists, extremely massive stars collapse into ultra compact objects called black holes whose gravitational field is so powerful that even light cannot escape from its imaginary boundary called "event horizon."
Naturally, it came as a surprise when NASA announced last October that two of its space telescopes caught a huge burst of X-ray spewing out of a super massive black hole.
However, it was not so to Professor Abhas Mitra. Mitra – adjunct professor at the Homi Bhabha National Institute – says NASA's observation has only bolstered his theory that ‘true’ black holes do not exist and that the so-called black holes are in fact hot balls of magnetised plasma (ionised gas stripped of electrons). Thus, as far as current observations follow, one of the monumental theories of astrophysics, as propagated by the famous physicist Stephen Hawking, that black holes destroy all matter that come within their gravitational pull, including light and information, has been proved wrong.
(L to R) Stephen Hawking, Abhas Mitra (indiatoday.intoday.in, stirileprotv.ro)
According to the professor, as a massive star contracts to the size of a black hole, the radiation trapped within the extremely hot star must exert an outward force to counter the gravitational pull resulting into a state of eternal contraction with an infinitesimally slow rate.
Thus, instead of true black holes predicted by Einstein's theory, massive stars end up as balls of fire – called quasi-black holes or magnetospheric eternally collapsing objects (MECOs). NASA’s observation of giant X-ray flares from black holes can be most naturally explained by the MECO paradigm. Relevant proofs behind this new paradigm have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals since 2000. The super-strong X-ray flares witnessed by the NASA telescopes, which appeared to originate right from the central compact MECO, is something akin to the well-known phenomenon of ‘coronal mass ejection’ from the Sun.
This concept – that the so-called black holes are not exactly black holes – was first explained by Abhas Mitra, along with American collaborators Darryl Leiter (University of Virgina, now deceased), Stanley Robertson (South Oklohoma State University), Norman Glendenning (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory) and Rudy Schild (Harvard University).
Diagrams showing how a shifting feature, called a corona, can create a
flare of X-rays around a black hole (NASA/JPL-Caltech/zmescience.com)
This latest astrophysical observation by NASA should prompt astrophysicists to take a closer look at the MECO paradigm. Further, if it is realised that the so-called black holes are not true black holes, the Black Hole Information Paradox – which says that black holes destroy any information that goes into them – could cease to exist.
One of the fundamental shortcomings of Einstein's theory that it is at odds with quantum mechanics could then become irrelevant. And, in the absence of event horizons and singularities, there may not be a compelling requirement for ‘quantum gravity’ – a theory which could merge Einstein's theory and quantum mechanics in a smooth framework.
Abhas Mitra is an alumnus of Uttarpara Government High School, University of Calcutta, University of Kashmir, and University of Mumbai. He is associated with the Himalayan Gamma Ray Observatory being set up at Han Leh jointly by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Indian Institute of Astrophysics. He was head of theoretical astrophysics at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai. Dr Mitra is also a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
For further reading on Abhas Mitra’s theory on the non-existence of black hole properties as theorised by Stephen Hawking, read his papers on his blog site, Eternal Blogs and on Academia.
Lead image: theconversation.com