Black holes as powerful particle accelerators: gravitational attraction finds new uses

Black holes can be powerful particle accelerators

The astronomers believe that black holes can be powerful engines of gravitational attraction and they are able to attract any objects irrevocably. Approaching the event horizon, these objects begin to move at an incredibly high speed. The physicists propose to use the gravitational attraction of black holes to create powerful particle accelerators. And they believe that there is a way to tune that relationship so that the particles are not lost forever in the black hole.

The knowledge will make it possible to identify black holes by the flows of particles forming in them. Falling into a black hole, the particle begins to accelerate, and can exceed the speed of light.


If a particle falls into a black hole, it is forever lost in it, since it is trapped by the edge of the event horizon. Thinking about building a particle accelerator, the physicists concluded that this area is unlikely to work, since it does not return particles. But with their constant interaction, the result may be more significant. Two particles approaching a black hole at the same time get a huge boost in energy.

A modern collider can accelerate the motion of heavy particles to over 99% of the speed of light. But it requires the use of the world's largest atom destroyer. Black holes create such an unprecedented acceleration simply by their existence.

As both particles approach the event horizon, their speed of movement increases. With the right combination of incoming velocity and direction, they can bounce off each other, with one particle going inside the black hole, and the other moving in a direction safe from the hole.


Such events, although rare, do happen and they are possible. In the course of the study, it turned out that particles can collide with arbitrarily high energies, depending on their proximity to the event horizon.

But there is one difficulty that lies in the use of so-called extreme black holes, which have the lowest possible mass. Therefore, it is not yet known how particles interact near the event horizon of such black holes.