Is it possible to erase the past?

Mathematician Peter Hinz of the University of California claims the existence of particular black holes that would undermine the strong cosmic censorship conjecture , allowing an observer to access a non-deterministic universe .

Indeed, if a subject crossed the event horizon of one of these hypothetical non-rotating black holes, characterized by the presence of an electric charge and known as Reissner-Nordström-de Sitter black holes , it could hypothetically survive the journey but, its past would be erased while its future would unfold into an infinite number of possibilities. To better understand Hinz’s thought, it is good to underline that one of the phenomena described by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is the presence of space-time singularities inside black holes. These singularities are regions where the curvature of spacetime becomes infinite, producing a gravitational force that doesn’t even allow light to escape.

However, the structure of these singularities is impossible to observe, as the event horizon of a black hole acts as a barrier between the fracture of space-time and the rest of the universe, while ensuring the determinism of physics and therefore the ability to predict natural events. To bridge this observation limit, scientists have come up with two conjectures: the hypothesis of strong and weak cosmic censorship . The first is the one taken into consideration by Hinz, and argues that there is a boundary within the event horizon of a black hole, known as the Cauchy horizon., beyond which the world of deterministic physics fractures into indeterminacy. The weak cosmic censorship theory, on the other hand, holds that there are no (naked) barrier-free singularities in the universe, except that of the Big Bang.

Specifically, in the theory of strong censorship, the Cauchy horizon would represent a sort of “watershed” between the deterministic and non-deterministic universe. Thus excluding the possibility for an observer to cross his horizon. However, research published in Physical Review Letters by Hinz and his team argues that this limit relative to the Cauchy horizon may not be true in an ever-expanding ours. In fact, since the space-time fabric extends more and more, most of the energy of the distant universe will not be able to affect the black hole in a relativistic way, however traveling at a speed no higher than that of light.

In concrete terms, therefore, the energy that can be incorporated by the black hole is only that contained within the observable horizon, that is, the volume of the universe that the black hole can expect to see during its existence. In this sense, the expansion of the universe counteracts the amplification caused by the time dilation inside the black hole and, in some situations, cancels it completely. In these cases, where we can place the Reissner-Nordström-de Sitter black holes, an observer could survive by passing through the Cauchy horizon,and enter a non-deterministic world.

In this regard, the physicist João Costa of the University of Lisbon, explained that nondeterminism implies that there is no correlation between past and future , stating that if the cat of the famous Schrödinger paradox were to fall within the horizon of Cauchy, we couldn’t even calculate the odds of the cat being alive or dead.

by Abdullah Sam
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