Kugelblitz (astrophysics)

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In theoretical physics, a kugelblitz (German: "ball lightning") is a concentration of heat, light or radiation so intense that its energy forms an event horizon and becomes self-trapped: according to general relativity and the equivalence of mass and energy, if enough radiation is aimed into a region, the concentration of energy can warp spacetime enough for the region to become a black hole, although this would be a black hole whose original mass-energy had been in the form of radiant energy rather than matter[1]. In simpler terms, a kugelblitz is a black hole formed from radiation as opposed to matter. (Such a black hole would notheless have properties identical to one of equivalent mass and angular momentum formed in a more conventional way, in accordance with the no-hair theorem.) A kugelblitz would be so hot it would surpass the Planck temperature, the temperature of the universe 5.4×10−44 seconds (one Planck time) after The Big Bang.

The best-known reference to the kugelblitz idea in English is probably John Archibald Wheeler's 1955 paper "Geons",[2] which explored the idea of creating particles (or toy models of particles) from spacetime curvature. Wheeler's paper on geons also introduced the idea that lines of electric charge trapped in a wormhole throat might be used to model the properties of a charged particle-pair.

Kugelblitz drives have been considered as possible future black hole starship engines.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Senovilla, J.M.M. (2014). "Black hole formation by incoming electromagnetic radiation". Classical and Quantum Gravity. 32 (1): 017001. arXiv:1408.2778. Bibcode:2015CQGra..32a7001S. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/32/1/017001.
  2. ^ Wheeler, J. A. (1955). "Geons". Physical Review. 97 (2): 511–536. Bibcode:1955PhRv...97..511W. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.97.511.
  3. ^ 5 REAL Possibilities for Interstellar Travel on YouTube
  4. ^ Lee, J.S. (2013). "The effect of Hawking Radiation on Fermion re-inflation of a Schwarzschild Kugelblitz". Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. 66: 364–376.