June 17, 2009 — A black hole created by Israeli scientists won’t destroy Earth, but it could make our planet just a little bit less noisy.
Using Bose-Einstein condensates, the scientists created a black hole for sound. The new research could help scientists learn more about true black holes and help confirm the existence of as-yet to be discovered Hawking radiation.
“It’s like a black hole because waves get sucked in and can’t escape,” said Jeff Steinhauer, a scientist at the Israel Institute of Technology and the corresponding author of the article recently posted on the ArXiv.org pre-print Web page. “But in this case we use sound waves instead of light.”
To create the sonic black hole, the scientists first had to create the Bose-Einstein condensate, a cloud of atoms cooled to almost absolute zero that acts like a light wave. The Israeli scientists actually created two clouds of rubidium 87 atoms cooled to 50 nano Kelvins and separated by a small gap.