We know of black holes from Disney’s wonderful 1979 movie, but mainly from modern science. While we’re beginning to scratch the surface of understanding their form and function, there remain a lot of unknowns. But what if someday we not only understood, but used black holes?
Welcome to Earth in the year 2100, where black holes have been controlled and their use legalized (albeit regulated by the government). We step into the life of Walter, a typical worker in the Research & Development department of a typical business.
Walter looked up from his free-floating computer display, a tired look in his eyes. It had been a long day.
“Dude, you need some sleep.”
“That’s what I keep telling myself. Thanks for the reminder.”
“Hey, you ready for the meeting?”
Walter groaned and rubbed his hands on his face.
“Are you kidding me? I thought that was tomorrow!”
“No way man, five minutes.”
“Alright, let me get a black hole ready.”
Jerry laughed. “Are you kidding? Marcy’s gonna be there.”
“Marcy? From H.R.? Who cares, she’ll never know.”
“Wait.” Jerry squatted down and whispered. “Have you perfected yours?”
Walter smiled. “Oh yeah.”
“Holy crap, I can’t wait to see this.”
In a few minutes, Walter, Jerry, Marcy, and about ten other employees walked into the conference room. They all took their seats. Jerry purposely sat right next to Walter, excited and curious. Marcy sat across the table.
While Walter’s boss began, Walter pulled out a tiny, circular device. While it used to have a small light showing that it was powered on and ready to use, Walter covered it with a small piece of black electrical tape to hide it.
Usually, the location and size would have to be calibrated on-site using a computer, with some testing and confirmation involved. However, Walter pre-calibrated it prior to the meeting based on his measurements.
Walter simply pressed on the top of the device and a tiny, tiny black hole appeared just outside the edge of his ear. He pressed again and another one appeared just outside his other ear.
While black holes may not suck in to the degree of popular science fiction movies and literature, they do have incredible gravity and can strip off and absorb nearby matter. Because of that, instead of the soundwaves from Walter’s boss entering Walter’s ear and being processed by his brain, the tiny black holes absorbed all the audio and Walter heard…nothing.
Jerry messaged Walter and he picked it up on his internal heads-up display. “Is it working? I can’t even see it!”
Walter messaged back. “Can’t hear a thing! Message me if they start talking about R&D.”
Jerry messaged Walter again. “Well, now I see a small disturbance, almost like a little wind passing by your ear. I’m sure Marcy can’t see it. I hope.”
Walter turned and looked over at Marcy. She was clueless.
Suddenly Walter felt dizzy. He turned back and looked straight ahead, but he could barely make out his boss. Jerry messaged him, but Walter had to struggle to see the words. He thought it said “You okay?”
Then it dawned on Walter. The tiny black holes were set to maintain their position, not move with him. When he had turned his head, he had turned it into the left black hole. Probably a few small pieces of his ear or head had been absorbed. Crap.
His vision began to return, but he still felt a little dizzy. He messaged Jerry. “I have to go home and lie down. If anyone asks, lunch made me sick.”
Jerry messaged back. “Wait, what? What happened?”
Walter sighed internally, feeling like an idiot. He messaged Jerry back.
“The black hole ate part of my head.”