Physicists say aliens may be using black holes as quantum computers

If life is common in our Universe, and we have every reason to suspect it is, why don’t we see evidence of it everywhere? This is the essence of the Fermi Paradox, an issue that has plagued astronomers and cosmologists almost since the birth of modern astronomy.

It’s also the reasoning behind the Hart-Tipler conjecture, one of the many (many!) proposed resolutions, which states that if advanced life had arisen in our galaxy at some point in the past, we would see signs of its activity everywhere we look. let’s look. Possible indications include self-replicating probes, megastructures, and other Type III-like activities.

On the other hand, several proposed resolutions challenge the notion that advanced life would operate on such massive scales. Others suggest that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations would be involved in activities and locations that would make them less noticeable.

In a recent study, a German-Georgian team of researchers proposed that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations (ETCs) could use black holes as quantum computers.

This makes sense from a computing point of view and offers an explanation for the apparent lack of activity we see when we look out into the cosmos.

The research was conducted by Gia Dvali, theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Physics and chair of physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, and Zaza Osmanov, professor of physics at the Free University of Tbilisi and researcher at the National Astrophysical Observatory of Georgia. Kharadze and the SETI Institute.

The paper describing their findings recently appeared online and is being reviewed for publication in International Journal of Astrobiology.

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The first SETI survey (Project Ozma) was carried out in 1960 and was led by the famous astrophysicist Dr. Frank Drake (who proposed the Drake Equation). This survey relied on the Green Bank Observatory’s 26-meter (85-foot) radio telescope to listen to radio transmissions from the nearby star systems of Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani.

Since then, the vast majority of SETI projects have been focused on the search for radio technology signatures, due to the ability of radio waves to propagate through interstellar space. As Dvali and Osmanov explained to Universe Today via email:

“Currently, we are mainly looking for radio messages, and there have been several attempts to study the sky to find so-called Dyson sphere candidates – megastructures built around stars. On the other hand, the SETI problem is so complex that one must test all possible channels.

“A whole ‘spectrum’ of technological signatures can be much broader: for example, the infrared or optical emission from megastructures also built around pulsars, white dwarfs and black holes. A completely new ‘direction’ must be the search for a anomalous spectral variability of these technological signatures, which can distinguish them from normal astrophysical objects.”

For many researchers, this limited focus is one of the main reasons why SETI has failed to find any evidence of technological signatures. In recent years, astronomers and astrophysicists have recommended extending the search by looking for other signatures and technological methods – such as Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI).

These include directed energy (lasers), neutrino emissions, quantum communications, and gravitational waves, many of which are explained in the NASA Technosignature Report (released in 2018) and the TechnoClimes 2020 workshop.

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For their study, Dvali and Osmanov suggest looking for something completely different: evidence of large-scale quantum computing. The benefits of quantum computing are well documented, including the ability to process information exponentially faster than digital computing and be immune to decryption.

Given the rate at which quantum computing is advancing today, it’s entirely logical to assume that an advanced civilization could adapt this technology to a much larger scale. Said Dvali and Osmanov:

“No matter how advanced a civilization is or how different its particle composition and chemistry is from ours, we are unified by the laws of quantum physics and gravity. These laws tell us that the most efficient storers of quantum information are black holes.

“Although our recent studies show that theoretically there may be devices created by non-gravitational interactions that also saturate the information storage capacity (so-called “saturons”), black holes are the clear champions. information processing”.

This idea builds on the work of Nobel Prize winner Roger Penrose, who proposed that unlimited energy could be extracted from a black hole touching the ergosphere. This space is outside the event horizon, where falling matter forms a disk that is accelerated to close to the speed of light and emits enormous amounts of radiation.

Several researchers have suggested that this could be the ultimate energy source for advanced TSIs, whether feeding matter into an SMBH (and harnessing the resulting radiation) or simply harnessing the energy they already emit.

Two possibilities for the latter scenario involve harnessing the angular momentum of their accretion disks (the “Penrose Process”) or capturing the heat and energy generated by their hypervelocity jets (perhaps in the form of a Dyson Sphere).

In their later paper, Dvali and Osamov suggest that black holes might be the ultimate source of computation. This is based on the notions that a) a civilization’s advancement is directly correlated to its level of computational performance, and b) there are certain universal markers of computational advancement that can be used as potential techno-signatures.
for SETI.

Using the principles of quantum mechanics, Dvali and Osomanov explained how black holes would be the most efficient capacitors for quantum information. These black holes would likely be artificial in nature and micro-sized rather than large and naturally occurring (for the sake of computing efficiency).

As a result, they argue, these black holes would be more energetic than natural ones:

“By analyzing the simple scale properties of information retrieval time, we show that optimizing information volume and processing time suggests that it is extremely beneficial for ETI to invest energy in creating many microscopic black holes as opposed to a few large ones. .

“First, micro black holes radiate with much greater intensity and in the higher energy spectrum of Hawking radiation. Second, these black holes must be manufactured through collisions of high-energy particles in accelerators. energy radiation signature .”

Hawking radiation, named after the late and great Stephen Hawking, is theoretically released outside the event horizon of a black hole due to relativistic quantum effects. The emission of this radiation reduces the mass and rotational energy of black holes, theoretically resulting in their eventual evaporation.

The resulting Hawking radiation, Dvali and Osomanov said, would be “democratic” in nature, meaning it would produce many different species of subatomic particles that are detectable by modern instruments:

“The great thing about Hawking radiation is that it is universal across all species of particles out there. So ETI quantum computers should radiate “ordinary” particles like neutrinos and photons. Neutrinos, in particular, are excellent messengers because to its extraordinary penetration capacity. , which avoids the possibility of screening.

“This, in particular, offers new TSI fingerprints in the form of a stream of very high-energy neutrinos coming from both the Hawking radiation of information that stores micro black holes and the collision ‘factories’ that manufacture them. The Hawking component of Waiting The radiation is assumed to be a superposition of very high energy blackbody spectra.

“In the paper, we show that the IceCube observatory can potentially observe such technological signatures. However, this is just one potential example of a very exciting new direction for SETI.”

In many respects, this theory echoes the logic of the Barrow Scale, proposed by astrophysicist and mathematician John D. Barrow in 1998. A revision of the Kardashev Scale, the Barrow Scale suggests that civilizations should be characterized not by their physical mastery of the outer space (i.e., planet, solar system, galaxy, etc.), but from inner space—i.e., the molecular, atomic, and quantum realms.

This Scale is central to the Transcension Hypothesis, a proposed resolution to the Fermi Paradox that suggests that ETIs have “transcended” beyond anything we could recognize.

Herein lies another interesting aspect of this theory, which is how it offers another possible resolution to the Fermi Paradox. As they explained:

“Until now, we have completely neglected a natural direction for SETI in the form of high-energy neutrinos and other particles produced by Hawking radiation from artificial black holes. Thus, various experimental searches for such high-energy particles could potentially shed extremely important light on presence of advanced ETI within the observable part of the Universe.”

In short, we may see a “Great Silence” when we look out into the cosmos because we’re looking for the wrong technosignatures.

After all, if extraterrestrial life leapfrogged humanity (which seems reasonable given the age of the Universe), it stands to reason that they would have outgrown radio communications and digital computing long ago. Another advantage of this theory is that it doesn’t have to apply to all TSIs to explain why we haven’t heard of any civilizations to date.

Given the exponential rate at which computation progresses (using humanity as a model), advanced civilizations may have a short window in which to transmit in radio wavelengths. This is a key part of the Drake Equation: the L parameter, which refers to the time civilizations have to release detectable signals into space.

Meanwhile, this study offers another potential technology signature for SETI research in the coming years. The paradox persists, but we only need to find an indication of late life to resolve it.

This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.

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