Black holes are undoubtedly weird enough to imagine but two recent papers say we don't understand how they work at all. They go against the previous theories that predicted the center of a black hole to feature a point of infinite density called a singularity. Instead, say the new papers, matter might be sucked into black holes and spat out later in the future somewhere else across the Universe.
The papers were authored by the team of Abhay Ashtekar and Javier Olmedo at Pennsylvania State University and Parampreet Singh at Louisiana State University, who applied the theory of loop quantum gravity to black holes to find that they do not have singularities in the middle.
Loop quantum gravity describes the fabric of spacetime as "a lattice of spin networks, which evolve over time," explains University of Notre Dame physics professor Don Lincoln, who is also the senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. More specifically, loop quantum gravity maintains that "spacetime is quantized, with a smallest possible unit or piece of space and time, beyond which spacetime cannot be subdivided further," says Lincoln.