Physics of ETH Zurich and the University of Miami described the mathematical similarity between water whirls in the oceans and black holes in space. The research was published at Journal of Fluid Mechanics.
The discovery of ocean whirls explained the cycling of garbage that floats on the water surface.
The researchers were surprised when they noticed that from a mathematical point of view, the equations that describe whirls on the surface of the ocean, are no different from the equations describing the curvature of space-time near black holes (except for the fact that the surface of the sea is flat). The authors believe that this observation goes beyond just a curious analogy.
An analysis of the equations revealed that there is a dead zone around a vortex. In that zone, pieces of garbage can remain indefinitely.
The research of the scientists can be used in astrophysics. The researchers point out the fact that the Great Red Spot on Jupiter is a long-lasting swirl in the upper atmosphere of the planet. In this case, the spot can be called the most famous "black hole" in the Solar System.