Black hole atoms

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 11:51:30 MST

Just a fun paper at

General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, abstract gr-qc/0001022

From: Victor Flambaum <>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 21:38:49 GMT (26kb)

Atom made from charged elementary black hole

Authors: V. V. Flambaum, J. C. Berengut

        It is believed that there may have been a large number of
        black holes formed in the very early universe. These would
        have quantised masses. A charged ``elementary black hole''
        (with the minimum possible mass) can capture electrons,
        protons and other charged particles to form a ``black hole
        atom''. We find the spectrum of such an object with a view to
        laboratory and astronomical observation of them, and estimate
        the lifetime of the bound states. There is no limit to the
        charge of the black hole, which gives us the possibility of
        observing Z>137 bound states and transitions at the lower
        continuum. Negatively charged black holes can capture
        protons. For Z>1, the orbiting protons will coalesce to form a
        nucleus (after beta-decay of some protons to neutrons), with a
        stability curve different to that of free nuclei. In this
        system there is also the distinct possibility of single quark
        capture. This leads to the formation of a coloured black hole
        that plays the role of an extremely heavy quark interacting
        strongly with the other two quarks. Finally we consider atoms
        formed with much larger black holes.

I don't know if these beasties are likely, but they certainly sound
like a gimmick from a Robert Forward novel. If they could exist, then
they might be an useful tool for femtoscale engineering.

They don't appear to be very likely to form anything like molecules;
my guess is that they would form some kind of gravitationally bound
balls where the holes tunneling past each other with electrons or
other particles sloshing around - some kind of ultra-heavy
Einstein-Bose condensate? Or a superdense "metal" liquid?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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