Black Hole Power

The Astronomy Picture of the Day for April 27th is about the tremendous energy that is released when matter falls into a black hole. This situation is incredibly efficient at producing energy; even more so than nuclear reactions. How about a black hole power plant in the future? If I remember right, the science fiction novel Imperial Earth by Arthur C. Clarke had a space ship powered by a microscopic black hole suspended somehow in the engine. A stream of hydrogen passing over the black hole was converted into the thrust for the space ship.

I imagine the congressional hearings for building the first black hole power plant in the 23rd century will be rather dramatic, with “unlimited clean energy” pitted against “if this gets loose, it will consume the entire solar system.”

Grace and Peace

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