Can An Object Ever Give Rise to a Naked Singularity?

Photo Credit: Silvia-Ritter.com

Black holes have always been objects of mystery and in some ways, they probably always will be. They form at times when the center of massive stars collapse in upon itself and are so dense that nothing has the possibility of escaping its gravitational pull. Even if something were lucky enough to get past the event horizon, it then faces the challenge ahead of the singularity – an infinitely small region of infinite density.


Naked singularities that are not wrapped inside an event horizon are problematic because when it’s faced with an infinitely dense region, it breaks down. The problem is that two of the laws that govern our understanding of the Universe (quantum mechanics and relativity) predict an outcome which is different and incompatible to one another. When it comes to black holes, they have a shield in the form o an event horizon that prevents anyone outside from observing the infinity of singularity.  But, if a naked singularity were to exist, not only would it distort space-time, but it would also screw up the laws of physics and lead to a catastrophic loss of predictability.


So then, in that case, is it even possible for such objects to exist in nature?  In a recent study published in the Physical Review Letter, a team of researchers suggests not.  Their argument for stating this is because when quantum mechanical effects are included in the description of singularities, they warp space-time in such a way that some of the problematic features stemming from general relativity are removed.


According to the researcher’s conclusion from the study, quantum gravity will always lead to the formation of a horizon where singularity is shielded from the rest of the cosmos.  “If, by some evil means, somebody created a naked singularity it would quickly cease to exist.  These quantum fields would very quickly turn the naked singularity into a black hole,” said study lead Marc Casals from the Brazilian Center for Research in Physics in Rio de Janeiro.

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