Black holes as a source of energy: Scientists suggest using them as batteries

November 29, 2023  22:15

Tiny black holes could hypothetically be used as sources of nuclear energy, according to a group of Chinese scientists.

According to their theoretical calculations, these small black holes could serve as the foundation for creating gravitational energy accumulators with an efficiency of up to 25%. In the absence of black holes, "batteries" could utilize dark matter, functioning just as effectively.

While it is believed that our universe is permeated with black holes, they are not always easy to detect. The observed mass of those that scientists can indirectly observe ranges from approximately five times the mass of the Sun to tens of billions of solar masses. However, hypothetically, there may be so-called primordial black holes (formed not by the gravitational collapse of a large star but in super-dense matter during the early expansion of the universe), and they could be tiny, even down to subatomic sizes.

We do not know whether primordial black holes exist, but their existence could open up many new possibilities. One such possibility is dark matter, with primordial black holes considered attractive candidates for this role.

Scientists Zhang-Feng Mai and Run-Cu Yang from Tianjin University believe that black holes the size of a single atom could be used as energy accumulators.

The battery converts non-electric energy into electricity.

A nuclear reactor uses the power of nuclear reactions to generate energy. And, as Mai and Yang claim, a tiny black hole theoretically can do both.

"Given the fact that a black hole possesses an extremely strong gravitational force, an interesting question arises: can we, even theoretically, use the gravitational force of black holes to generate electrical energy, that is, use black holes as batteries?" ask the scientists.

In their article, they claim that theoretically, a Schwarzschild black hole could be used as a rechargeable battery.

They theoretically demonstrated that a black hole the size of a single atom, with a mass ranging from 10^15 to 10^18 kg, could generate energy on the order of a gigaelectronvolt. Energy could be obtained by converting gravitational effects from the black hole into electricity with an efficiency of no less than 25%.

It is worth noting that the scientists' article, dedicated to these calculations, is available on the arXiv website and is proposed for publication in the Physical Review D journal.

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