VIDEO: A futuristic renewable energy source - Black hole farming

07/22/2016 - 22:23

Isaac Arthur

In this video we jump trillions of years into the future to examine the concept of civilizations living in a dark, post-stellar Universe, where we encounter some surprising possibilities about just how abundant and robust life might be in a seemingly dark and dead Universe.

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Ref: S. S. Komissarov. Blandford-Znajek mechanism versus Penrose process. arXiv - Astrophysics (2008) | DOI: 10.3938/jkps.54.2503 | PDF


During the three decades since its theoretical discovery the Blandford-Znajek process of extracting the rotational energy of black holes has become one of the foundation stones in the building of modern relativistic astrophysics. However, it is also true that for a long time its physics was not well understood, as evidenced by the controversy that surrounded it since 1990s. Thanks to the efforts of many theorists during the last decade the state of affairs is gradually improving. In this lecture I attempt to explain the key ingredients of this process in more or less systematic, rigorous, and at the same time relatively simple fashion. A particular attention is paid to the similarities and differences between the Blandford-Znajek and Penrose processes. To this purpose I formulate the notion of energy counter flow. The concept of horizon membrane is replaced with the concept of vacuum as an electromagnetically active medium. The effect of negative phase velocity of electromagnetic waves in the black hole ergosphere is also discussed.