London: Planetary scientists have claimed that a number of miniature black holes pass through the Earth almost everyday, but without causing any damage to our planet.
And, unlike the larger black holes -- formed by the collapse of giant stars -- that swallow everything even light, past a certain point, the mini black holes would instead hold
objects in an orbit, say the scientists.
According to the research, led by Aaron P VanDevender from Halcyon Molecular in California, and J Pace VanDevender from Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, the orbiting effect is similar to the way electrons orbit a nucleus without collapsing inwards.
In their study, the scientists theorise that some theoretical mini black holes are so small that they are able to exist on Earth as well as passing through the planet without causing any damage, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
They believe that the microscopic size of mini black holes means they obey similar quantum laws to atoms, making nearing particles orbit the holes, rather than being absorbed.
So, while entire planets could be swallowed by a large black hole after passing its event horizon, mini black holes could gravitationally bind matter around them in orbit.
The scientists have labelled this theory the Gravitational Equivalent of an Atom and have calculated that millions of kilogrammes of mini black holes in dark matter form should pass through Earth each year.
And, there's potentially no risk of the Earth being swallowed up as the mini black holes would pass so quickly through the planet that particles already bound in orbit would
be rapidly stripped from the mini black hole.
While the black holes would survive the particles being stripped away, flashes of radiation emitted in the process could disprove noted physicist Prof Stephen Hawking's
theory that microscopic black holes should boil away quickly.
"It would be difficult, but not impossible (to detect one of the mini black holes passing through the Earth)," the scientists said in research posted on 'arXiv.org'.
"The available power of a GEA to emit detectable radiation is small but not negligible. It would likely be substantially easier to observe a GEA in orbit around the Earth, rather than one that is passing through at a tremendous velocity," they said.
First Published: Sunday, May 15, 2011, 13:10