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The hairiness of black holes

1 October 2013

At http://phys.org/print299757749.html … a new hypothesis on the nature of black holes, asks – do they have hair? The paper was published in Physical Review Letters and I'm sure this is not strictly what was asked. However, the speculation is that there is more to black holes than a hole in deep space. The original concept of black holes worked with just two things – mass, and angular momentum (rotation velocity). Observation of what is thought to be black holes has caused some further thinking on their composition – and what exactly they may actually be. As they are thought to have an origin in collapsed stars, imploding inwards, all that was left was the hole in space itself. In other words, they are bald. Now, a new group of scientists is suggesting black holes have a head of hair – in order to attach themselves to the surrounding universe. Previous descriptions of black holes, tongue in cheek no doubt, claim they gobbled up nearby matter. We now have to think in terms of the mouths of black holes surrounded by shaving stubble or even a full blown moustache and beard.

The bald model is consistent with General Relativity, we are told – but not with 'tensor-scalar' theory. It seems that matter surrounding black holes, likened to hair for some reason, is what is thought to anchor black holes to where they are found – otherwise it might disappear or even swallow itself. Experimental confirmation, has not of course been done, and no evidence exists to back up the theory. It is basically a theory constructed on top of another theory, and perhaps even more layers of theory.

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