Are Universes contained within Black Holes?

According to Nikodem Poplawski - physicist at the Indiana University in the US, our universe may actually sit inside a black hole that is in itself part of a larger universe. According to this new, quite outlandish and crazy sounding theory which has been published in the journal "Physics Letters B", a black hole is actually a tunnel between other universes and all the black holes in our universe could be doorways to alternative realities.

Poplawski's new mathamatical model describes the spiraling motion of matter falling into a black hole and could be a viable alternative to Einstein's "space-time singularities" that are proposed to inhabit the centre of black holes.

Einstein's theory suggests that when matter in a given reason becomes too dense (ie from the collapse of a star and creation of a black hole) singularities are created. This theory has long been seen as too difficult to accept by scientists as it means that these singularities take up no space, are infinitely dense and infinitely hot. This is supported by some indirect evidence but if would be disproved if Poplawski's theory was accepted.

In Popawski's model, matter that is drawn into a black hole gets thrown out at the other end and becomes the matter for building galaxies, solar systems and stars in this new universe. From the other side this would be seen as a "white hole", the polar opposite of black holes. This would also explain how our own universe was created, rather than the big bang creation theory, our universe would have been created by matter thrown out by one of these "white holes".

If proved correct, this new theory would also explain gamma rays bursts which are the second most powerful explosions after the big bang but have so far proved impossible to explain. They appear to be associated with the supernova of stars in far away galaxies but their actual source remains a mystery. These bursts could be discharges of matter from these alternate universes in Popaswski's model, escaping from supermassive black holes at the heart of galaxies.

If that wasn't enough the theory could even help explain "exotic matter" or why some features of the universe don't conform to expected predictions.

The idea that Black holes are "worm holes" to another universe / dimension / reality is not excatly a new one and has been suggested a number of times in the past.

There have even been films like the classic 1979 disney film "The Black Hole" which was novelised by Alan Dean Foster (rumoured to be in the process of being remade) and more recently the 1997 scifi horror film "Event horizon" which starred Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne.

A number of books have also featured the Black hole worm hole theory from the fantastically named "young adult" novel "Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet" (written in 1956 by Eleanor Cameron) to Gregory Benford's 1990 novel "Beyond the fall of Night" which is itself based on Arthur C Clarke's 1956 science fiction novel "The City and the Stars" (which is itself based on the earlier novella "Against the Fall of Night").

There is only a very small possibility that this oulandish theory could ever be proved, which involves the premise that as some black holes rotate, if our galaxy is within a rotating version then we could somehow measure this rotation. It is more likely though that this will not be proved within the forseeable future.