How White Holes Work

Saurav Tripathi
5 min readFeb 1, 2020

Black holes are among the strangest structures in all of space; vast and mysterious with powerful singularities where the rules of physics fall apart. It’s though that they could hold the secret to life, the universe and everything. And yet, their currently hypothetical counterparts are perhaps even stranger still!

Where black holes are object with gravity so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape them, white holes are theorized as objects so repulsive that nothing can even enter; the two are the reverse of one another. This also means that rather than pulling matter in and crushing it down, a white hole would spit matter out at impossible speeds.

Some speculate that black and white holes could actually be two different stages in the lifetime of the same object, however. There are problems with this — one of the biggest beings that nobody understands how a black hole could spontaneously or even slowly transform into its opposite — but it’s an idea which also solves certain problems too, primarily the black hole information paradox.

Since the first law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be created or destroyed, the fate of the matter that becomes part of the black hole’s singularity has long been one of the greatest mysteries of space. Because, without breaking the laws of physics, where does all of it go?

If a black hole really did somehow transform into a white hole, then its matter would simply be ejected back out, returning to the universe once more. There are other ideas, too, about how the existence of white holes could solve this same issue.

If black holes don’t truly morph into their counterpart, they could be what sits on the other side of an incredible tunnel through space and time. It’s famously theorized that black holes could be gateways to other parts of the universe or even new universes entirely, and, if that’s true, a white hole could be at the “other end” of that tunnel; it’d be what you’d find yourself in were you to somehow travel through a black hole and not die.

Unfortunately, thanks to the gravity and the radiation and the fact that any such path would probably instantly collapse as soon as you entered into it, it’s all but impossible to test the idea out. Nevertheless, when thought of in this way, white holes provide part…