Can Atom-Sized Black Holes Pass Through Earth?

When density perturbations in space cause it to collapse, black holes are created in a range of sizes. Some are extremely small and could pass straight through the Earth. 

What's the Latest Development?


A team of astrophysicists have recently simulated the extraordinary event of an atom-sized black hole passing through planet Earth. The scientists theorize that such tiny black holes, called primordial black holes, were created when early galaxies breached a density threshold and underwent gravitational collapse. It is believed that these black holes, if they exist, would be composed partly of dark matter. Thus the scientists' priority is now to prove the existence of these black holes beyond current theories, helping to make the case for dark matter's existence.

What's the Big Idea?

To prove the existence of these atom-sized black holes, scientists would look for evidence that they had passed through the Earth in the past. The famous Tunguska impact in Siberia in 1908, where no comet ash has ever been found, could be the location where a tiny black hole entered its path through the center of the planet (though leaving open the question about where it exited). Astrophysicists say the black holes present no existential danger to Earth and that if one were to pass through the planet, it would feel like a minor earthquake in every part of the globe. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

Heatwaves significantly impact male fertility, says huge study

As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm

Shutterstock
Surprising Science
  • New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
  • The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
  • With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
Keep reading Show less