Sunday, October 18, 2009

Scientists create first ever black hole on Earth

Tim Sayell sends in this fascinating article from Discovery Channel online, documenting the first ever black hole created on Earth. No this isn't one of those gravitational monsters you see at the centers of galaxies like our Milky Way. This mini singularity "mimics" the curvature of space-time better known as the event horizon. No this micro black hole doesn't swallow planets and stars whole, but instead was designed with a much more modest diet, that of microwaves.

The hope is that this experimental device will help greatly improve the reliability of solar energy collectors. Now, I can see you asking how can a black hole do that? Well without getting to much into the science of the device (the article gives a great description of the physical makeup and how the device captures microwaves) it's easier just to say that the device is designed with a certain frequency of microwave radiation. Instead of bouncing the waves back as most objects do, the microwaves are absorbed by the central core. Since even black holes are bound by physical laws, something has to come out of the exchange. In this case, heat is generated.

According to the article
  • (This could) revolutionize future solar panel design, making the production of solar energy a lot more efficient than it is currently.
Read the article here for a description of the device and possible uses

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