Physicists have discovered that black holes are exerting a pressure on their environment.
Stephen Hawking made the influential discovery that black holes emit thermal radiation in space. Before his findings it was believed that the black holes were just inert space objects and are in the final stages of a dying star.
The discovery published in the journal 'Physical Review D', conducted by the University of Sussex shows that black holes are even more complex thermodynamic systems, with a temperature and pressure.
At the varsity, a team of scientists and researchers led by Professor Xavier Calmet and Folkert Kuipers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, were surprised and puzzled by an extra figure in an equations which showed that they were running on quantum gravitational corrections to the entropy of a black hole and they later realised that it is behaving as a pressure. They finally confirmed that quantum gravity can lead to a pressure in black holes.
Calmet said, "If you consider black holes within only general relativity, one can show that they have a singularity in their centres where the laws of physics, as we know them, must break down. It is hoped that when quantum field theory is incorporated into general relativity, we might be able to find a new description of black holes."
"Our work is a step in this direction, and although the pressure exerted by the black hole that we were studying is tiny, the fact that it is present opens up multiple new possibilities, spanning the study of astrophysics, particle physics and quantum physics," Calumet further added.