What if we used black holes as rechargeable batteries?

Physicists have studied the theoretical possibility of using mini black holes as rechargeable batteries and nuclear reactors.

Of all the futuristic ideas for powering our electronic devices with new energies, this one is the most unlikely. But she is interesting. In a paper published online in the fall of 2023 (in preprint and not in the journal), the physicists propose using black holes as rechargeable batteries and even as nuclear reactors.

Taking into account the fact that a black hole has an extremely strong gravitational force, an interesting question arises: can we, at least theoretically, use the gravitational force of black holes to generate electricity, that is, use black holes as batteries? », Ask the authors.

The study does not look at any type of black hole. Of course, they are not classical black holes and at least supermassive ones (like those found in the centers of galaxies). These are primordial black holes. They are purely hypothetical: according to physics theorists, this class of black holes appeared during the primeval epoch of the universe, in the densest regions. One of their special features: very little mass. These would potentially be very small black holes.

25% return with a black hole in your pocket

According to the authors, it would be possible to convert the non-electrical energy of these tiny black holes into electrical energy; and convert nuclear reactions into energy. In short, it functions as both a battery and a nuclear reactor.

Black hole M87*, AI enhanced photo. It’s a supermassive black hole: primordial black holes could be much, much smaller. // Source: NoirLab

As a rechargeable battery, according to their calculations, it would be possible to convert 25% of the black hole’s mass into available electrical energy, in “ slow and manageable “. By comparison, solar panel efficiency ranges from about 18 to 25%. Similarly, the paper suggests a similar efficiency of 25% for using a mini black hole as a nuclear reactor, as the process could ” to amplify a hundredfold the kinetic energy available during natural decay “.

The authors even suggest that the dark matter that results from these black holes could be used in the same way. ” Since some small-sized primordial black holes are believed to have a remarkable density of dark matter, the result of this paper suggests that this black hole dark matter can be used as a reactor to provide energy. »

This is a work on theoretical physics: it is based on mathematical calculations. Don’t imagine charging your iPhone in a black hole while you’re alive.

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