Astrophysicists have long speculated about the existence of black holes formed by extreme concentrations of light, known as “kugelblitze.” These unique black holes were thought to be linked to phenomena like dark matter and even considered as potential power sources for futuristic spaceship engines. However, recent research from the University of Waterloo and Universidad Complutense de Madrid challenges this theory.

The study titled “No black holes from light” published on the arXiv preprint server and forthcoming in Physical Review Letters, indicates that kugelblitze are unattainable in our current universe. According to the researchers, the enormous concentration of light required to form these black holes would need to be tens of orders of magnitude greater than anything observed in quasars, the brightest objects in our universe.

Taking quantum effects into account, the team built a mathematical model that revealed the impossibility of achieving the necessary light concentration for kugelblitze. They found that such extreme light concentrations would result in the spontaneous creation of particles like electron-positron pairs, which would rapidly disperse from the area. These quantum effects make the formation of kugelblitze unattainable in practice.

While the conditions needed to test this phenomenon are currently beyond our technological capabilities, the researchers are confident in the accuracy of their predictions. Drawing parallels to the principles behind positron emission tomography (PET) scans, they believe that their findings are rooted in the same mathematical and scientific foundations.

Although the impossibility of kugelblitze may be disappointing for astrophysicists, this discovery represents a significant advancement in fundamental physics. The collaborative effort between applied mathematics, the Perimeter Institute, and the Institute for Quantum Computing at Waterloo has paved the way for future technological innovations. While the practical applications of these discoveries may not be immediately apparent, they lay the groundwork for potential advancements in the future.


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