from the world's big
Entering most black holes would kill you. This one gives you an infinite number of futures
When the past and future are no longer connected, some pretty weird stuff happens.
What’s inside a black hole? In most, there’s something called the singularity—an area of such density and intense gravitational force that not even light can escape. Don’t venture too close. Once you enter the event horizon—the outer rim—it’s all over for you. You’d be shredded to ribbons of atoms that’ll be sucked down into its depths. But there may be one exception. Mathematicians have recently unveiled a scenario even more mind-blowing.
If you stepped into a Reissner-Nordström-de Sitter black hole, the deterministic nature of the universe would break down, and your past and your future would no longer be connected. The past would simply slide away, while an infinite number of futures would open up before you. How is this possible?
A black hole is created when a star collapses into itself, pulled in by the force of its own gravity. This is the last stage of its life. According to the Reissner-Nordström solution of general relativity, a black hole that is electrically charged and collapses creates a second zone located within the event horizon, known as the Cauchy horizon. Here, space-time is indeterminate, and the ability to predict the future mathematically is no longer possible.
Plasma being sucked into a black hole. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Vitor Cardoso of Lisbon University and colleagues dove into these theoretical black holes recently, mathematically speaking, and surfaced with some pretty outlandish findings. Entering the Cauchy horizon of such a black hole may sound nice at first. But how long would it take you to decide which of your infinite lives to pursue? That may be a moot point. Even if you did select one, you wouldn’t be able to leave the Cauchy horizon. You’d be caught in its gossamer web, a casual observer of every permutation of a future you’ll never realize. So why does this occur in the first place?
If true, this weird, theoretical phenomenon challenges the deterministic nature of Einstein’s general relativity. So far, the theory has held up fantastically to anything physics has thrown at it. For instance, we can predict astronomical phenomena with surprising accuracy. Indeed, almost anything that occurs in the universe can be understood and its behavior predicted mathematically, provided we know oodles about its origin. One place this breaks down, however, is here in the Cauchy horizon of a Reissner-Nordström-de Sitter black hole.
So the reason why your past disappears and your future is indeterminate is that space and time merge for a solitary instance inside this horizon. Einstein’s general relativity accounts for singularities. In black holes without them, his theory is no longer valid. It’s at this point that we run into a debate within the physics community.
Physicists argue over the “strong cosmic censorship” conjecture, first proposed in the '70s by British physicist Roger Penrose. If there was even a slight deviation in the immense gravitational pull of an imploding star, the black hole would end up with a singularity, rather than a Cauchy horizon, argued Penrose. What Cordoso and colleagues have proven is that technically, a Cauchy horizon could exist in a universe that’s expanding at an ever-accelerating rate, such as ours. The team’s bizarre and thought-provoking findings were published recently in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Black holes already do some pretty weird stuff, like this flare of X-rays coming out of the corona. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
It’s the electrical charge of the former star that allows for resistance against the singularity’s intense pull, which in turn causes a Cauchy horizon to take shape, Cordoso and colleagues argue. Due to the ever-increasing speed at which the universe is expanding, only so much time and energy is available to the singularity. So despite its intense pull, a singularity is still limited in its power.
If it all sounds confusing, having no past and an infinite number of futures, rest assured that the team who proved it feasible aren’t themselves sure what such an experience might be like. One researcher, physicist João Costa, told Physics World, "Thinking about Schrödinger's cat, we know we can assign probabilities to the cat being alive and dead. But if the cat were to fall inside the Cauchy horizon we could not even compute these probabilities."
The jury is still out on whether certain types of black holes contain a Cauchy horizon. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Cordoso and colleagues examined two opposing forces thought to be present at this particular type of black hole’s formation. On the one side is the gravitational pull of the implosion and any perturbations that may occur inside the black hole. On the other is the effect of the outside environment in tamping down the internal force. In the researchers’ model, the force of the outside environment trumps the gravitational implosion. Although the implosion would severely damage the Cauchy horizon, it wouldn’t completely destroy it, according to these Portuguese mathematicians’ calculations.
Those physicists in the strong cosmological censorship camp say, just because it’s theoretically possible, doesn’t make it so. In fact, this conjecture has stood strong against all the work in the area that’s been hurled against it in the last several decades. Still, this University of Lisbon study is the strongest refutation thus far of Penrose’s conjecture.
While charged black holes aren’t expected to technically exist somewhere out in space, rotating or neutral black holes are. They’re thought to go through a similar metamorphosis as the type investigated here. Still, more work needs to be done to tell whether something that’s just theoretically possible, is actually happening to certain kinds of black holes out there, somewhere, in the inky depths of outer space.
Want to know when we’ll actually take a picture of a black hole? Click here.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?
- Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
- The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
- Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
How masturbation affects your brain...<p>Orgasms are a very common human phenomenon. The physical and mental health benefits have been researched frequently as a result, and yet, there is still so much to be learned about how our bodies and brains react to the chemicals and hormones released during and after experiencing this type of sexual release.</p><p>"The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable" explains Julia Heiman, director of the <a href="https://kinseyinstitute.org/" target="_blank">Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction</a>.</p><p>Masturbation causes a rush of <a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine" target="_blank">dopamine</a>, which is a chemical that is associated with our ability to feel pleasure. Along with the rush of dopamine that is released during an orgasm, there is also a release of a hormone called <a href="https://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html" target="_blank">oxytocin</a>, which is commonly referred to as the "love hormone."<br></p><p>This concoction of chemicals does more than just boost our mood, it also can play a key role in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Oxytocin decreases <a href="https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol" target="_blank">cortisol</a>, which is a stress hormone that is usually present (in high volumes) during times of anxiety, fear, panic, or distress. </p><p>According to BDSM and fetish researcher <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/dr-gloria-brame-colbert-ga/278388" target="_blank">Dr. Gloria Brame</a>, an orgasm is the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine that we can experience. </p><p>By boosting the oxytocin and dopamine levels and subsequently decreasing our cortisol levels, the brain is placed in a more relaxed, euphoric, and calm state. </p>
Masturbation boosts your immune system and raises your white blood cell count.<p>How do those effects on the brain from reaching orgasm translate to boosting our immune system and making our body healthier?</p><p>The increase of oxytocin and dopamine that causes a decrease in cortisol levels can help boost our immune system because cortisol (well-known for being a stress-inducing hormone) actually helps maintain your immune system if released in small doses. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.health24.com/Sex/Great-sex/incredible-health-benefits-to-masturbating-20181030-2" target="_blank">Dr. Jennifer Landa</a>, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation can produce the right kind of environment for a strengthened immune system to thrive. </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316239" target="_blank">A study</a> conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen (in Germany) showed similar results. A group of 11 volunteers were asked to participate in a study that would look at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on the white blood cell count and immune system.</p><p>During this experiment, the white blood cell count of each participant was analyzed through measures that were taken 5 minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching a self-induced orgasm. </p><p>The results confirmed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of white blood cells, particularly the natural killer cells that help fight off infections. </p><p>The findings confirm that our immune system is positively affected by sexual arousal and self-induced orgasm and promote even more research into the positive impacts of sexual arousal and orgasm. </p>
Masturbation can ease and prevent pain, which allows you to achieve the restful sleep that helps your immune system stay strong and healthy.<p>The benefits of masturbation have long been debated, but the more research that is done on the topic the more we understand that there are many positive reactions that happen in our bodies and brains when we orgasm.</p><p>Orgasms can help prevent or mitigate pain, which boosts the immune system, preventing cold and flu symptoms. </p><p>According to neurologist and headache specialist Stefan Evers, about one in three patients experience relief from migraine attacks by experiencing sexual activity or orgasm. Evers and his team <a href="https://www.livescience.com/27642-sex-relieves-migraine-pain.html" target="_blank">conducted an experiment</a> with 800 migraine patients and 200 patients who suffered from cluster-headaches to see how their experiences with sexual activity impacted their pain levels. </p><p>The study showed that 60% of migraine sufferers experienced pain relief after participating in sexual activity that resulted in orgasm. Of the cluster-headache sufferers, about 50% said their headaches actually worsened after sexual arousal and orgasm. </p><p>Evers suggested in his findings that the people who did not experience pain relief from migraines of headaches during their sexual activity did not release as large amounts of endorphins as those who did experience pain relief. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.sharecare.com/health/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-affect-immune-system" target="_blank">rheumatologist Dr. Harris McIlwain</a>, people who suffer from chronic pain have immune systems that are simply not functioning at full capacity - therefore, alleviating pain (through orgasm, as an example) can help boost the immune system. </p><p>Orgasms can also promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep. Serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine are all hormones that are released during sexual arousal and orgasm, and all three are known for counteracting stress hormones and promoting relaxation, which makes it much easier for you to fall asleep.</p><p>There are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1233384" target="_blank">several studies</a> showing that serotonin and norepinephrine help our body cycle through REM and deep non-REM sleeping cycles. During these sleep cycles, the immune system releases proteins called <a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity" target="_blank"><span id="selection-marker-1" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span>cytokines<span id="selection-marker-2" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span></a>, which target infection and inflammation. This is a critical part of our immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released throughout our bodies while we sleep, which proves the importance of a good sleep schedule to a healthy immune system.</p>
Masturbation promotes a high-functioning immune system; a healthy immune system prevents cold and flu.<p>The immune system is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against infections and diseases by stopped threats like bacteria and viruses from entering your system. While there are many things we need to do to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, masturbation (or other means of achieving orgasm) has proven to have positive effects on the immune system as a whole.</p><p>Just as bad habits (such as an inconsistent sleep schedule or harmful chemicals in your body) can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system. </p>
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.