Scientists Make Black Hole in Fibre Optic Cable: World Doesn't End

OK, so it's not quite as sensational as it sounds— UK scientists have been trying to simulate conditions near the event horizons that shroud black holes, and they've cleverly simulated a horizon using pulses of light in a special optical fibre. So, no disastrous gravity well was made and the world didn't suddenly end with a horrible crunch. But they did create an analogue of a black hole that helped them understand some of the weird and whacky physics that goes on near real ones.

The team actually made "completely harmless" black hole and white hole horizons in pairs, at a rate of 80 million a second, by piling up and stretching out ultrashort light pulses in the modified optical fibre. They even detected blue-shifting effects at the white hole horizons, which is predicted by theory.

Next on their agenda may be examining even more interesting quantum stuff like the radiation predicted by Stephen Hawking in his "black holes ain't so black" theory. And that's just cool. [Sciencemag via Wired]

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