Do black holes have singularities

“The author’s opinion is that gravitational clumping leads inevitably to black holes in our universe, confirming what is observed, but this does not lead to singularities.”

I just wanted to share some highlights from a (semi-) recent paper. Roy Kerr (a mathematician who found the first exact solution to Einstein’s Field equation of general relativity) published a very interesting paper in December. In this paper, he questions the idea that black holes have singularities, departing from the widely held belief they do. He backs up this with much rigorous maths (or so I am told - I understand very little) and generally seems to have started a big debate. I would highly recommend skimming the conclusions and initial section.

When I read the news and the paper initially, his ideas are very interesting. They really question a lot about out understanding of the universe and even the Big Bang.

However, one part I found rather funny was how he discussed the work of others before him and I thought it would be nice to share some of the funnier excerpts:

  • “Nobody has constructed any reason, let alone proof for this. The singularity believers need to show why it is true, not just quote the Penrose assumption.” - on the second page, the first shots are fired

  • “Penrose, Hawking[2], Ellis and others have used this to prove their theorems. This will be countered herein by simple examples” - more shots fired

  • “Why do so many believe that the star inside must become singular at this moment? Faith, not science! Sixty years without a proof, but they believe!” - really beginning to hit out now

  • “”Science is what we have learned about how to keep fooling ourselves.” Richard Feynman.” - petty quote #1

  • “Hawking’s, Penrose’s and all other similar theorems for black holes and the ”big bang” … are built on a foundation of sand.” - this seems to me to be the scientific equivalent of a cat fight

  • “”The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”-Voltaire.” - petty quote #2

  • "The reason that nearly all relativists believe that light rays whose affine lengths are finite must end in singularities is nothing but dogma. My experience from listening to graduate students discussing research papers is that they almost always give the mathematics a very cursory glance. This is also true for many professionals. Life is short and they are understandably more interested in physics. " - parting shot in the conclusion

  • " In conclusion, I have tried to show that whatever the Penrose and Hawking theorems prove has nothing to do with Physics breaking down and singularities appearing. Of course, it is impossible to prove that these cannot exist, but it is extremely unlikely and goes against known physics." - Final blow

If anyone who somewhat understands this could enlighten me on how the field has reacted to this paper, and if they think it has merit, I would be very grateful.

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