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 using new energies, this one is the most improbable. But she is intriguing. In work put online in the fall of 2023 (in preprint and not in a journal), physicists suggest using black holes as rechargeable batteries and even as nuclear reactors.

Taking into account the fact that the black hole has an extremely powerful gravitational force, an interesting question arises: can we, at least in theory, use the gravitational force of black holes to produce electrical energy, i.e. mean using black holes as batteries? », Ask the authors.

The study does not look at any type of black holes. These are not, of course, classic black holes and at least supermassive (like those found at 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 primordial epoch of the Universe, in the densest areas. One of their particularities: a very small mass. These would potentially be very small black holes.

25% yield with a pocket black hole

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

Black hole M87*, AI-enhanced photo.  // Source: NoirLab
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, it would be possible, according to their calculations, to transform 25% of the mass of the black hole into available electrical energy, in a ” slow and controllable “. For comparison, the efficiency of a solar panel ranges from approximately 18 to 25%. Similarly, the paper suggests a similar efficiency of 25% for using a mini black hole as a nuclear reactor, because the process could ” amplify hundreds of times the kinetic energy available during natural decay “.

The authors even suggest that dark matter, resulting from these black holes, could be used in the same way. “ Since some primordial black holes of tiny size are suspected to have a notable density of dark matter, the result of this paper implies that this dark matter originating from a black hole can be used as a reactor to provide energy. »

This is work relating to 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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