Non-physical Cosmology

What's a white hole?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. You've probably heard of black holes, but what about a white hole? This hypothetical cosmic body acts in the exact opposite manner of a black hole. Instead of pulling in matter, a white hole expels it like a sort of cosmic exhaust valve, giving off serious amounts of energy. Some cosmologists theorize that a black hole in one universe might empty out through a white hole in another universe. In these theories, the black hole acts as a kind of tunnel -- instead of pulling in matter that collapses into a single point, the black hole shuttles the matter right through the tunnel and out the white hole on the other end [source: Than]. In other words, the matter that comes out of a white hole is the matter that fell into a black hole.

    While some scientists do believe that white holes are theoretically possible, they've never actually been observed, so most believe that don't exist [source: NASA]. At one time, some scientists thought that quasars might actually be white holes, but in the end, they concluded that quasars are actually powered by very large black holes [source: Ptak].

    Some scientists believe that a gamma ray burst that took place in 2006 might actually have been a white hole due to its unusual fierceness and long duration, but other explanations for this particular cosmological event are more likely [source: Wilkins]. Overall, white holes are still just a hypothetical concept, and they're a controversial subject in the scientific community.

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