Is time travel possible using merging black holes? (Intermediate)

I am a 9th grader in North Carolina, and am interested in a career in Astronomy or Astro physics. My 6th grade science teacher told me about the "black hole theory". He said that this theory states that when several black holes combine, they form a type of "time portal" that can suck you either forword in time of backward in time. My question to you is, is there any realalistic proof that can explain how such a thing could actually occur? And if so what is that proof?

Nothing spectacular (like time travel) happens when two black holes merge. When two black holes merge, they just form a big black hole, that is all. Of course, there ARE some interesting processes that happen before the merger and that is the emission of gravitational waves. When two black holes orbit each other, gravitational waves are emitted in accordance with the laws of general relativity, and as a result the black holes come closer to one another. Finally, there is a burst of gravitational radiation close to the merger. These are the kind of events that scientists are trying to detect with their gravitational wave detectors like LIGO or pulsar timing arrays like NANOGrav, to prove another facet of general relativity.

This page was last updated October 2nd, 2015.

About the Author

Jagadheep D. Pandian

Jagadheep D. Pandian

Jagadheep built a new receiver for the Arecibo radio telescope that works between 6 and 8 GHz. He studies 6.7 GHz methanol masers in our Galaxy. These masers occur at sites where massive stars are being born. He got his Ph.D from Cornell in January 2007 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Insitute for Radio Astronomy in Germany. After that, he worked at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii as the Submillimeter Postdoctoral Fellow. Jagadheep is currently at the Indian Institute of Space Scence and Technology.

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