“Some Black Holes Existed Prior to the Big Bang”
July 14, 2012
Cosmologists have begun to think seriously about processes that occurred before the Big Bang. Alan Coley from Canada’s Dalhousie University and Bernard Carr from Queen Mary University in London, have theorized that some so-called primordial black holes might have been created in the Big Crunch that came before the Big Bang, which supports the theory that the Big Bang was not a single event, but one that occurs over and over again as the Universe crunches down to a single point, then blows up again.
In some circumstances, they say, black holes of a certain mass could avoid this fate and survive the crunch as separate entities. The masses for which this is possible range from a few hundred million kilograms to about the mass of our Sun.
The theory is based on the fact that the Earth, and the rest of the known Universe is occasionally bombarded with unexplained bursts of gamma rays — something that could, according to Coley and Carr, be the result of primordial black holes running out of energy and disintegrating. These small black holes ought to evaporate away in relatively short period of time, finally disappearing in a violent explosion of gamma rays. Some cosmologists say this thinking might explain the gamma ray bursts that we already see from time to time.
Primordial black holes are thought to be of a different type than the regular kind that are formed when a supernova occurs but rather formed in the first “moments” after the Big Bang. Primordial black holes would be smaller and created by the energy of the Big Bang itself and would then have been widely dispersed as the Universe expanded.
More information: Persistence of black holes through a cosmological bounce, B. J. Carr, A.A. Coley, arXiv:1104.3796v1 [astro-ph.CO] http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.3796
The Daily Galaxy via MIT Technology Review
Image credit: http://www.zeitnews.org/space-science/scientists-gear-up-to-take-a-picture-of-a-black-hole.html and University of Arizona