Our Universe May Have Emerged from a Black Hole in a Higher Dimensional Universe

August 8, 2014

Physics

Our Universe May Have Emerged from a Black Hole in a Higher Dimensional Universe

The event horizon of a black hole — the point of no return for anything that falls in — is a spherical surface. In a higher-dimensional universe, a black hole could have a three-dimensional event horizon, which could spawn a whole new universe as it forms. Artist’s impression by Victor De Schwanberg/Science Photo Library

New research from theoretical physicists at the Perimeter Institute proposes that our universe may have emerged from a black hole in a higher-dimensional universe.

The big bang poses a big question: if it was indeed the cataclysm that blasted our universe into existence 13.7 billion years ago, what sparked it?

Three Perimeter Institute researchers have a new idea about what might have come before the big bang. It’s a bit perplexing, but it is grounded in sound mathematics, testable, and enticing enough to earn the cover story in Scientific American, called “The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time.”

What we perceive as the big bang, they argue, could be the three-dimensional “mirage” of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own.

“Cosmology’s greatest challenge is understanding the big bang itself,” write Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member Niayesh Afshordi, Affiliate Faculty member and University of Waterloo professor Robert Mann, and PhD student Razieh Pourhasan.

Conventional understanding holds that the big bang began with a singularity – an unfathomably hot and dense phenomenon of spacetime where the standard laws of physics break down. Singularities are bizarre, and our understanding of them is limited.

“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” Afshordi says in an interview with Nature.

The problem, as the authors see it, is that the big bang hypothesis has our relatively comprehensible, uniform, and predictable universe arising from the physics-destroying insanity of a singularity. It seems unlikely.

So perhaps something else happened. Perhaps our universe was never singular in the first place.

Their suggestion: our known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole.

In our three-dimensional universe, black holes have two-dimensional event horizons – that is, they are surrounded by a two-dimensional boundary that marks the “point of no return.” In the case of a four-dimensional universe, a black hole would have a three-dimensional event horizon.

In their proposed scenario, our universe was never inside the singularity; rather, it came into being outside an event horizon, protected from the singularity. It originated as – and remains – just one feature in the imploded wreck of a four-dimensional star.

The researchers emphasize that this idea, though it may sound “absurd,” is grounded firmly in the best modern mathematics describing space and time. Specifically, they’ve used the tools of holography to “turn the big bang into a cosmic mirage.” Along the way, their model appears to address long-standing cosmological puzzles and – crucially – produce testable predictions.

Of course, our intuition tends to recoil at the idea that everything and everyone we know emerged from the event horizon of a single four-dimensional black hole. We have no concept of what a four-dimensional universe might look like. We don’t know how a four-dimensional “parent” universe itself came to be.

But our fallible human intuitions, the researchers argue, evolved in a three-dimensional world that may only reveal shadows of reality.

They draw a parallel to Plato’s allegory of the cave, in which prisoners spend their lives seeing only the flickering shadows cast by a fire on a cavern wall.

“Their shackles have prevented them from perceiving the true world, a realm with one additional dimension,” they write. “Plato’s prisoners didn’t understand the powers behind the sun, just as we don’t understand the four-dimensional bulk universe. But at least they knew where to look for answers.”

PDF Copy of the Study: Out of the White Hole: A Holographic Origin for the Big Bang

More Information:

Source: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Image: Artist’s impression by Victor De Schwanberg/Science Photo Library

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20 Responses to “Our Universe May Have Emerged from a Black Hole in a Higher Dimensional Universe”

  1. Jon Cannon Says:

    These type of hypothesis are noteworthy, The big bang theory with all of its certainties may one day be compared to our rudimentary ideas that the sun revolved around the earth.

    Reply

    • Nikola Tesla Says:

      She’s making this response because a black hole is a plasma vortex, transforming, transumting, particle accelerator. The high speed jets are 90 degrees of the magnetic field, producing Neutrons, Tritium (H3) and Ozone (O3), for which all of the molecules of the universe can form.

      Reply

  2. Mia Says:

    This is actually a neat theory when read through.

    Reply

  3. Kurgun Says:

    Makes sense to me, I have a difficult time with the singularity idea, it’s simply not possible

    Reply

  4. reckoner Says:

    very interesting article. In the humble opinion of this writer the four dimensional universe is present alongside the three dimensional universe, and not beyond its borders. big bang singularity contained water and everything physical had hence sprung forth from it. beyond the physical realm of this universe are other universes or multiverses but without any physical objects, hence the point of having physical laws is a moot in those realms of existence.

    Reply

  5. Glenn Meier Says:

    At last a possibility that seems plausible. The “Big Bang” has always left me with the question of WHAT BANGED? A burp from a black hole on either side makes far more sense.

    Reply

  6. steve Says:

    Please excuse my ignorance but could anyone tell me what the fourth dimension referred to in this article may be.

    Reply

    • lionel Says:

      The fourth dimension is the time.

      Reply

    • Greg Says:

      Time,a dimensional plain shift.Is it paper thin,so to speak,or is it that we are conditioned from birth to see the universe as we do?
      I write fiction and love where this is going,right or wrong,I’m in for the ride.

      Reply

    • Dave Says:

      It is the dimension we would refer to as “the afterlife.” But with an important correction to the article: Actually time (change) is the fourth dimension, and we are here in a four dimensional Universe, and so I believe the higher dimension this article refers to would be a five dimensional Universe.

      The Fifth Dimension is somewhat of a “sideways” spreading out of potentials, a multitude of possible timelines, a sort of “overview” of all possible outcomes at every significant juncture in the progression of events that we perceive as reality… This probably isn’t making much sense.

      Steve, if you really want to know first hand about the existence of dimensions outside of space and time as we here know it, try smoking Salvia Divinorum. I mean if it is legal to do so where you live. Make sure to research it first, and make sure you have a competent “sitter” with you, a person who is completely sober and whose job is to protect your physical body from hurting itself while the pilot is not present in the cockpit. (That would be you, while you are away visiting another dimension.) Don’t smoke anything more powerful than 10x extract your first few times. Trust me on this.

      I have visited the “afterlife” via Salvia Divinorum and it is actually more like the “before-during-after-ever-always-life” if I understood correctly where I was… It is quite different from this dimension.

      The wheel of Reincarnation always keeps rolling… rolling… rolling… This wheel is a literal reality there in the Fifth dimension.

      Please note, the Fifth dimension is not “above” this one. It’s more like it’s “Inside and behind” this one. If you ever visit there, that may make a lot more sense to you.

      OK, now that I have convinced you of my sheer, utter madness, I bid you good day sir.

      Reply

  7. Rishi Says:

    And how did the four dimensional universe come into existence?

    Reply

  8. CC Says:

    Interesting, but like String/M-Theory additional dimensions are VERY difficult to prove. I heard this theory, without the black-hole for a while now so excuse me if I’m skeptical.

    Frankly, with all the thousands of theoretical physicists out there – I don’t see much progress with theoretical physicists since Einstein (and the big boys of Quantum mechanics) passed on. We’re still stuck on the standard model and even the incomprehensible observer model of classic quantum physics seems to have the best answers (but hasn’t really been extended). And someone tell me they’ve made some progress on gravity!

    It seems like a concentrated to focus on things that are outside our universe and, thus, extraordinarily difficult to prove. Like the prior poster said – what is their “fourth” dimension (obviously they aren’t considering time as a dimension).

    All that being said – at least they say its testable, so once they get their disappointing results they can move on.

    Reply

  9. Poolroomaddict Says:

    The first, and obvious, question that comes to mind is does this imply there could be infinitely many universes of infinitely many dimensions…and we just happen to exist on the event horizon of fourth in the series?

    Reply

  10. Endre Polyak Says:

    When Alice entered Wonderland, our universe came into being.

    Reply

  11. Madanagopal.V.C. Says:

    Lorentz transformation equations in relativity suggests that when any matter flies at the velocity of light which is maximum, three things occur. 1) The mass becomes infinite- called increase in mass.2)Length contracts infinitesimally small as we approach the velocity ‘c’.It is called contraction in length. Effectively this can be taken in three dimensional cases as reduction in volume. That is the matter becomes a point mass with all its original energy ,fantastic, without getting reduced since mass-energy is conserved and indestructible. And finally 3)there is dilatation of time, which means that time slows down to zero finally. Applying the theory of relativity, Big Bang happened at time t-zero with all its original mass and energy reduced to a point of Big Bang, which when exploded gave rise to this Universe with all the light matter of galaxies and stars and light besides all the Dark Matter and Dark Energy which constitutes maximum 96%.Now you start from time zero and come to the present 13.6 billion years. Once all the stars crumble to a black hole, the future would be another very tiny black hole of point mass, which will explode into another second universe. This theory gives oscillating universe theory as against multiverse theory. In both the cases the origin of such huge energy which transformed into matter is puzzling. Who created it, since in Physics ENERGY CAN NEITHER BE CREATED NOR DESTROYED ?The puzzle goes on for the future scientists to take it further, because laws of physics will remain the same through all ages and any magical creation theory will put the science into metaphysics. Thank YOu.

    Reply

  12. ThatGuyOne Says:

    Still getting something from nothing.

    Reply

  13. Roger Says:

    It seems plausible in kind of a common sense way, but how could there be such an expansion of this universe? If everything were stricktly based on a black hole wouldn’t there be evidence of 4D matter being sucked into it in this universe?

    Reply

  14. Ian Elliott Says:

    Flatland, by Edwin Abbott, is an excellent introduction to the subject of higher dimensions.

    Reply

  15. Brian P Says:

    Could this mean that there are 2-dimensional universes existing in all of the black holes in our universe?

    Reply

    • ismail Says:

      Im not a scientist but I feel the black hole is a 3D area in space sorounding a fallen in star. That,that fallen in star attracts anything to itself then crushes its matter into so hard until electrons and protons etc are squeezed out.They too cannot escape but torn up onto smaller particles and smaller till probably into syrands, whocj maybe arr those that are released as gamma rays and other rays we have not been able to detect like dark energy/ matter.Good theory but we are using things we created like time. I ask of the science community to break out of laws that bind us, that scientsts go past our five senses that it has to be seen tasted,heard,felt,smelt etc…maybe Im asking too much but im counting on you guys.

      Reply

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