Sonic black holes are real…and they’re spectacular

(cross-posted from Ello)

This bit of mind-blowing science was called to my attention by @jinxbubbletush this morning and I’ve been down the Wikipedia rabbit hole all morning trying to wrap my head around it. The article describes how scientist have been able to create a sonic black hole and observe Hawking radiation on its periphery. There’s so much in there that makes my head a-splode that I’ve been able to think of little else this morning. What I’ve gleaned so far is:

  • Sonic black holes” are a real thing. When I first read the report, I suspected bullshit because, you know, “sonic black holes.”
  • Even though they’re “sonic”, they exhibit many of the same properties as your garden-variety (as though there were such a thing) black holes.
  • In fact, there are many, many ways to model gravity (using Bose-Einstein condensates, for example) that work remarkably well.
  • The fact that there are so many ways to model gravity suggests that gravity could be an emergent property of condensed matter systems.
  • This whole thing nests neatly with “World Crystal” cosmological model, which is sort of where I step away from the computer and try to get my head back in this little, localized version of reality.

I’m a little surprised that I didn’t find out about sonic black holes from reading @warrenellis because he’s usually on to this kind of weirdness way before I hear anything about it. I suppose it’s technically possible that he has written something involving sonic black holes and I just missed it, but given the amount of shelf-space Mr. Ellis occupies in my library, that seems unlikely.

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