A new study by astrophysicist Luca Comisso of Columbia University and physicist Felipe A. Asenjo of Adolfo Ibáñez University (Chile) explains how it would be possible for us to harness the energy released by these immense chasms that are black holes.
According to these researchers, as black holes are surrounded by a hot "soup" of plasma particles carrying a magnetic field, a good disconnection and reconnection of the lines of this magnetic field would accelerate the plasma particles, which would allow us to recover the energy released.
According to these scientists, this method would make it possible to use black holes as an inexhaustible source of energy for the expansion of our civilization in different galaxies in the distant future.
How to extract energy from a black hole according to Penrose and Hawking
The Penrose process, a method established by the eminent physicist and mathematician of the University of Oxford, Roger Penrose, explains that we could theoretically extract the energy of black holes from the ergosphere. It is the area located outside the event horizon of a black hole, in which there is deformation of space-time as a result of the effects of its rotation.
According to Penrose, if a particle divides into two parts inside the ergosphere, as opposed to the part that falls in the event horizon, the energy produced by the part that escapes from the gravitational attraction of the black hole would theoretically be extractable.
The other method based on a radiation theory was established by physicists Blandford and Znajek. It is based on quantum mechanical emissions from black holes. Clearly, energy could be extracted electromagnetically from the magnetic field surrounding the black hole.
What the researchers propose to recover this energy
According to these physicists, the plasma particles separate during magnetic reconnections outside the event horizon, and are propelled in two different directions at speeds approaching that of light. A part will then move into the event horizon and will be imbued with negative energy while the flow of plasma which escapes will be imbued with usable positive energy .
Theoretically, this flow of plasma impregnated with additional energy could serve as a practically unlimited free source of energy, because according to their calculation, an efficiency of 150% can be achieved by switching on the plasma.
This is possible because the energy permeating this plasma comes from energy leaks from the black hole. In addition, this phenomenon would explain the eruptions of black holes producing large emissions of radiation energy left unexploited in space.