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Well, the question has somewhat been answered before, but there's one part missing, which - I'd think - is in conflict with the physical laws.

The earlier reply says that the gravitational pull even at the event horizon is so big, that not even the other forces can overcome this. So far, so good...this part I can accept.

However, what makes it possible for the black hole to appear in the first place? In this situation, the gravity between every single atom would have to fight against the electromagnetic force in order to compress the atoms sufficiently to create a singularity. Once the singularity is there, the gravitational pull becomes infinite - but how the he** does the electromagnetic force allow the gravity to create the singularity in the first place? I'd say that since the strength of gravity is directly related to the amount of mass - the more mass, the stronger the gravitational pull...but the same amount of mass generates millions of times stronger electromagnetic resistance between the atoms...or, did I misunderstand something completely here?

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Not an expert on black holes, but if you have, for example, a neutron star, then you don't have to worry about the electromagnetic force. The catch is that gravity is always attractive, whereas electromagnetic forces can be attractive, repulsive, or neutral. –  Lagerbaer Nov 2 '12 at 2:14
    
possible duplicate of physics.stackexchange.com/questions/38550/… –  Rorschach Nov 2 '12 at 6:53
    
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4 Answers

This has little to do with relativity per se and much more to do with the actual effects involved in black hole formation.

All the outer layers of a star weigh down on the interior, and it is this progressive added weight that eventually overcomes all other forms of pressure--electrostatic repulsion, for instance, but in discussions of black hole formation, we don't usually talk about that. Quantum effects start getting very significant as the particles are forced progressively closer together, and electron degeneracy is usually the first roadblock to black hole formation. This is just an effect of fermions (of which electrons are just one kind) being unable to occupy the same state as one another.

Still, there are only so many electrons, and if the object is still too massive, it may collapse into a neutron star, which is held up by the same principles, but by this point all the electrons have merged with protons to form neutrons. Even that may not be enough to stave off collapse into a black hole, for stars that are massive enough.

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In the low mass limit, you're absolutely correct. Electromagnetism absolutely overpowers gravity, to the point where you can completely ignore the latter.

But something funny happens when you get a lot of mass concentrated into one place. In this case, the mass curves the underlying spacetime. This fundamentally alters everything that happens with the physics. In particular, two things happen:

1) There will be a maximum mass beyond which things are no longer physically stable--they must either explode and shed some of the mass, or collapse down to a black hole. In this case, a charged object will either be forced to lose its surplus charge, or it will be forced to simply collapse into a charged black hole

2) Distances between objects will change due to the curvature, which can mean that two charged objects feel forces on each other in a different way than you would naïvely expect just from looking at their coordinate separation from each other and just simply applying $F=k\frac{q_{1}q_{2}}{r^{2}}$

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All energy gravitates, not just that associated with mass, which includes the energy of an electromagnetic field and, in a sense, the gravitational field as well--though it would be more proper to say gravity is nonlinear. In your thought experiment, the electromagnetic field trying to counter-act gravity actually makes gravity stronger, and for extreme enough circumstances it loses.

More rigorously, the Einstein field equation describes the behavior of gravity in terms of a stress-energy tensor, with includes (a) energy density, which includes mass-energy, (b) momentum density and energy flux, and (c) mechanical stress. In turns out that in a local inertial frame, the effect of gravity is proportional to the sum of energy density and the principal stresses (the sum of those last terms is proportional to the mean pressure).

To simplify into more intuitive terms, both energy density and pressure gravitate. Normally, energy density is completely dominated by mass ($E \approx mc^2$ unless momentum is high), and ordinary pressures are very low compared to energy density of massive bodies. Thus, the most important term for gravity is mass--but only under ordinary conditions.

Imagine a spherical body that's that is extremely density, with gravity very high. It is supported against gravity by internal electromagnetic forces, or any other means. Therefore, stresses within it will be extremely high--and this contributes to gravity. In other words, at the very act of trying to keep gravity at bay makes it stronger, and eventually it will win against even electromagnetism.

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Thanks, I got the answer I was expecting... the nature of the other forces simply changes due to fusion etc. - which, in turn, allows gravity to become so overwhelming... something like that, right? Never mind the formulation; what I needed to hear was that the electromagnetic force simply doesn't apply during the process of creation of a black hole. c",) Thanks again!

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The electromagnetic force applies. It's just overpowered by gravity. –  Jerry Schirmer Nov 4 '13 at 23:09
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