Secrets of The Universe May Lie Inside of Black Holes

Primeval black holes, entities that (according to what scientists believe) may have existed around the time when the universe began. Although we have never actually detected one of these black holes, we do know that they were not formed in the usual fashion, there was no dying star that collapsed in on itself and gave birth to these black holes. This is because when the universe was formed, there were not stars old enough to die and collapse, in fact, the universe was completely devoid of old stars for around the first one billion years.

Scientists believe that these black holes were created by the vast clouds of matter that were present at that time, these clouds were the building blocks of pretty much everything that exists in the universe. Some of these clouds gathered so much mass that they began to collapse into their own gravity wells and as a result, they formed these super massive black holes that are some of the oldest entities in the universe.

Keep in mind that this is all based on theory, no one has managed to actually detect one of these black holes so far so nothing is set in stone. However, the day we get to discover these marvels may not be that far now, The Georgia Institute of Technology released a paper that claims that NASA’s JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) will have the technological capabilities needed to pick up signs of these black holes. The JWST is set to be launched in a number of years (hopefully within a decade), and the best part is that the telescope is going to be so sensitive that it will take relatively lesser time to identify one of these black holes.

There has already been a lot of research on these Direct Collapse Black Holes (DCBH) that has helped us determine what effects these black holes have on their surroundings. We know that DCBHs result in the formation of metal-free stars with short live spans in their surrounding galaxies. Based on this information, the JWST could focus on galaxies that have smaller amounts of metal in them, further reducing the time it would take the telescope to find a DCBH.

We also know that emerging direct collapse black holes produce electromagnetic radiation at a high frequency that can be picked up by the JWST. However, these radiations will undergo redshifting (their wavelengths will become longer) as they travel across huge distances, this could lead to complications if the telescope were to solely rely on radiation detection. The biggest problem with trying to study older parts of the universe is that light that they produce is faint, old, and travels over incomprehensively large distances, making it quite difficult to detect these light waves and make sense of them.

Scientists continue to hope that the JWST will be able to provide them with answers to their previously unanswered questions, but they are also sure that these answers will give rise to countless more questions.

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Nuclear Pasta: The Strongest Substance in The Universe

Researchers have managed to determine the strength of what lies at a neutron star’s core and discovered that it’s the strongest substance in the known universe. The calculations that led to this discovery were the largest ever neutron star crust related simulations to have been run so far, and they produced exceptionally useful data on how exactly do neutron star crusts collapse.

According to Matthew Caplan, the exact strength of a neutron star’s crust is a figure that is relevant to many problems that astrophysicists are currently dealing with, but unfortunately there is very little that we know about these stars at the moment.

A neutron star gets formed a supernova implodes, think of something as huge as our sun suddenly begin compressed to the size of Montréal. Meaning that neutron stars are incredibly dense, so dense that their own gravitational force solidifies their outer surface while their core remains liquid. Structurally, neutron stars slightly resemble the Earth, they have a solid outer body and a liquid core, however, these stars are a trillion times denser than our planet.

The insane level of gravity acting on these stars causes their high density Layers to form unique structures that scientists have begun referring to as Nuclear Pasta. Underneath a neutron star’s crust, there are all kinds of competing forces at work, these forces act on the star’s material and causes it to get arranged in flat layers and long cylinders.

The flat layer structure is called lasagna and the cylindrical one is called spaghetti, but one should not take these names too literally, these structures are incredibly robust due to their shapes and due to the environment in which they are formed.

It took an insane amount of computational power to run the simulations that allowed scientists to deform and stretch the materials that exist within a neutron star’s core. The results of this study gave scientists a better idea of how a star’s crust behaves.

Furthermore, these results may also allow scientists to understand gravitational waves better, which can be a major leap since the collision between two neutron stars that was observed last year. Another thing that scientists realized after conducting this study was that single neutron stars might have the ability to create small gravitational waves as well.

Caplan stated that the environment within a neutron star’s crust is incredibly fascinating since there are all kinds of physics occurring with extreme conditions all around them. He believes that by developing a better understanding of a neutron star’s physical properties, scientists may be able to test a number of models and theories that could provide them with invaluable information.

This study alone has provided us with enough data to take another look at various problems and come up with better solutions for them, Caplan hopes that these results will provide answers for previously unanswered questions and overall allow scientists to further explore the mysteries of the universe, finding more questions and more answers for them.

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About STEMtech

The Annual STEMtech conference and showcase has been designed to look at key topics in advancing STEM and technical education in the UK through the collaboration of industry, educators and policy makers. Each year our conference will consider themes affecting this important area including the role of schools, colleges, universities and careers, skills development and International perspectives, research and initiatives.

This year’s speakers will be discussing and debating key topics such as industry perspectives; technical literacy in the curriculum; attracting and retaining students for technical and STEM education; teacher shortages; technical qualifications; apprenticeships; the future of degrees and gender issues.

In addition to our full day conference programme we will be running a full seminar programme highlighting latest thinking, research, development and initiatives which are driving forward advancements in STEM or technical education.

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