A black hole is a volume from which photons, or any matter, can not escape. More formally, the coordinate speed of light at the event horizon - the boundary of a black hole - is zero, as measured by a sufficiently separated observer.

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How can one reconcile the temperature of a black hole with asymptotic flatness?

A stationary observer very close to the horizon of a black hole is immersed in a thermal bath of temperature that diverges as the horizon is approached. $$T^{-1} = 4\pi \sqrt{2M(r-2M)}$$ The ...
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273 views

Are black hole states completely mixed?

A completely mixed state is a statistical mixture with no interference terms, and (QMD, McMahon, pg 229): $$\rho = \dfrac{1}{n}I$$ $$Tr(\rho^2) = \dfrac{1}{n}$$ Are black hole quantum states ...
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214 views

What is the strange event in this simulation of a galactic collision?

I was watching this video on YouTube: 2 Spiral Galaxies w/Supermassive Black Holes Collide Around half way, and again almost at the end, the black holes seem to suddenly give off some sort of force ...
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605 views

Has Cosmological Natural Selection been disproved?

I've been reading Lee Smolin's Life of the Cosmos. Great book and it makes a lot of sense that the conditions in black holes are the same as conditions at the big bang. Question is, has his theory ...
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Incommensurability between different observers describing the same universe?

According to black hole complementarity, if there is a black hole and Alice falls into it carrying a qubit, but Bob stays out, then Alice can measure the qubit inside the black hole, and confirm it ...
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Please justify invoking logical positivism to causal patches and black hole interiors in quantum gravity!

Logical positivism is often invoked to explain why external observers can't talk about black hole interiors, or why we can't talk about what happens outside our causal patch in inflationary models. ...
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359 views

Charges and Topology

I must apologize, I was a little bit excited when I began understanding some of this, I can not say I can compete with professionals, and words are still difficult concepts. In (1) S.H. et al. it is ...
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735 views

On black holes, Hawking radiation and gravitational atoms

Over the past hour or so I've been following one of my standard physics-based, wanders-through-the-internet. Specifically, I began by reviewing some details of dark energy theory but soon found myself ...
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329 views

How close can two extremal black holes with the same charge can get?

Here's a puzzle I have been pondering over. If we have two extremal black holes with the same charge, the electrostatic repulsion between them ought to cancel the gravitational attraction between ...
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2answers
250 views

Can the equivalence principle be tested to high precision in a human-sized lab falling through the horizon of a black hole, in principle?

Can the equivalence principle be tested to high precision in a human-sized lab falling through the horizon of a black hole, in principle? By "human-sized lab" I mean a lab the size of the ...
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2answers
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Do all of our discoveries of black holes in nature depend on the validity of GR?

In the question Is there a black hole in the centre of the Milky Way? the answer by Motl seems to all but say the existence of that black hole is a fact (see also Evidence for black hole event ...
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656 views

Can colliding gravitational waves create a black hole?

Whether gravitational waves are real or just a coordinate freedom was argued in the early days of GR. Eventually the conclusion was that they were real. And if they are 'real' then I'm curious if... ...
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Why is there a flux of radiation in the Hawking effect but not in the Unruh effect? (and other questions)

This question is slightly related to this one Do all massive bodies emit Hawking radiation?, which I think was poorly posed and so didn't get very useful answers. There are several questions in this ...
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1answer
726 views

Time dilation when falling into black hole

I know that if one astronaut falls into a black hole, then a distant observer will see him take an infinite amount of time to reach the event horizon (provided the observer can see light of ...
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2answers
334 views

Black Holes and Energy Conservation

A supernova's Ni/Fe core remnant with mass exceeding about three solar masses would result in a black hole. Although the core's temperature was in the ~1E10K range, the black hole temperature based on ...
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6answers
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Why can't light escape from a classical black hole?

Photons do not have (rest) mass (that's why they can move at speed of "light"). So, my question is how the gravity of classical$^1$ black hole can stop light from escaping? -- $^1$ We ignore ...
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Strongest force in nature

Possible Duplicate: What does it mean to say “Gravity is the weakest of the forces”? It is said nuclear force is the strongest force in nature.. But it is not true near a black ...
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201 views

Can a trapped surface be formed by a mass configuration outside of that trapped surface?

Can a trapped surface be formed without any massive bodies inside that trapped surface, but only by a configuration of massive bodies surrounding the trapped volume?
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1answer
224 views

How much of a star falls into a black hole?

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/04/05/astronomers-may-have-witnessed-a-star-torn-apart-by-a-black-hole/ A lot of the star in the disc, a lot of the star in the jets, precisely how ...
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2answers
2k views

How long does it take a black hole to eat a star?

I presume the answer is that it depends on the mass and size of the star and black hole, but I was wondering if somebody could provide some rough bounds (e.g. hours vs thousands of years). By ...
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2answers
444 views

Are black holes really that special?

Science and science fiction alikeScience fiction describes black holes as these amazingly different entities in space that don't behave according to the same laws of physics that the rest of the ...
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2k views

Hawking's alternative to Higgs Boson

I have seen in popular media, claims that Hawking does not believe the Higgs boson exists due to microscopic black holes and even made a bet against it. This is based on something published in ...
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315 views

How can you tell if a critical energy density is actually a black hole?

Here's a question inspired by Edward's answer to this question. It's my understanding that the average energy density of a black hole in its rest frame is $\rho_\text{BH}(A)$, a function of surface ...
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No hair theorem for black holes and the baryon number

The no hair theorem says that a black hole can be characterized by a small number of parameters that are visible from distance - mass, angular momentum and electric charge. For me it is puzzling why ...
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2answers
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Is it mathematically possible for a black hole to be connected to a white hole or a worm hole?

I know that there's no evidence at this point for "white holes" however would it even be mathematically possible for a black hole to be connected to a white hole (total opposite so everything would be ...
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What prevents the accumulation of charge in a black hole?

What prevents a static black hole from accumulating more charge than its maximum? Is it just simple Coulomb repulsion? Is the answer the same for rotating black holes? Edit What I understand from ...
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455 views

Gravitational redshift of virtual photons

There is well known gravitational redshift of real photons. What about gravitational redshift of virtual photons of charged neutron star? Is electrostatic force become weaker while mass of ...
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9answers
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How does this thought experiment not rule out black holes?

How does the following brief thought experiment fail to show that general relativity (GR) has a major problem in regards to black holes? The full thought experiment is in my blog post. The post ...
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5answers
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Are elementary particles ultimate fate of black holes?

From the "no hair theorem" we know that black holes have only 3 characteristic external observables, mass, electric charge and angular momentum (except the possible exceptions in the higher ...
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3answers
306 views

It is possible to extract energy from black holes or..satellites?

When something falls down, potential energy is transformed into kinetic one. Furthermore, you can attach a pulley and extract some energy (like in an aljibe), for example with a dynamo... If the ...
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How can super massive black holes have a lower density than water?

I heard on a podcast recently that the supermassive black holes at the centre of some galaxies could have densities less than water, so in theory, they could float on the substance they were gobbling ...
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3answers
621 views

Light bending by black holes

In the center of our milky way, it is assumed that a black hole exists with a mass of $\approx 4\times 10^6$ times our sun's mass. How much light bending (in degrees) would arise for stars that are in ...
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What happens when a black hole and an “anti-black-hole” collide?

Let's say we have one black hole that formed through the collapse of hydrogen gas and another that formed through the collapse of anti-hydrogen gas. What happens when they collide? Do they (1) ...
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Information about an expanding event horizon

Assume an observer sent a beam of photons close to an event horizon, say at some distance x (a distance far enough to avoid the photons falling in.) This light would still be observable, albeit red ...
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709 views

Black Hole Singularity and String Theory

This question arises in a somewhat naive form because I am largely unfamiliar with String Theory. I do know that it incorporates higher space dimensions where I shall take the overall dimensionality ...
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Can black holes form in a finite amount of time?

One thing I know about black holes is that an object gets closer to the event horizon, gravitation time dilation make it move more slower from an outside perspective, so that it looks like it take an ...
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Black holes in a head-on collision

Assume two uncharged non-rotating black holes traveling straight at each other with no outside forces acting on the system. What is thought to happen to the kinetic energy of these two masses when ...
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Black hole analog experiment?

This question is directed mostly at people giving lectures on black holes, but input by other physicists or students is very much appreciated. Do you know a good (home)-experiment with a black hole ...
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1answer
337 views

How is the mass of black hole at the center of our galaxy measured?

I've been watching a video about dark mater and a lot of the mass is missing in our universe. Astronomers got to this by measuring the speed that stars orbit the center of the galaxy and when they did ...
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5answers
262 views

High-spin neutron star

Suppose a large neutron star were to be spun-up by a particular pattern of mass-accretion. The increased centrifugal force could presumably mitigate the increased gravity thus delaying gravitational ...
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1answer
534 views

What is a maximal analytic extension?

Can someone explain (as rigorously as possible) what is involved in analytically continuing, say, the Schwarzschild solution to the Kruskal manifold? I understand the two metrics separately but I'm ...
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Do singularities have a “real” as opposed to mathematical or idealized existence?

I was thinking of, for example a Schwarzchild metric at r=0, i.e. the gravitational singularity, a point of infinite density. I realise that there are different types of singularities--timelike, ...
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Does any particle ever reach any singularity inside the black hole?

I am not a professional physicist, so I may say something rubbish in here, but this question has always popped in my mind every time I read or hear anyone speak of particles hitting singularities and ...
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8answers
681 views

Flat space limit of the Schwarzschild metric and Hawking temperature

The Schwarzschild metric reduces to the Minkowski metric in the limit of vanishing $M$, but the Hawking temperature which is proportional to $1/M$ diverges in the same limit. This would imply that ...
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530 views

Binary Black Hole Solution of General Relativity?

This is rather a technical question for experts in General Relativity. An accessible link would be an accepable answer, although any additional discussion is welcome. GR has well known solutions ...
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If two ultra-relativistic billiard balls just miss, will they still form a black hole?

This forum seems to agree that a billiard ball accellerated to ultra-relativistic speeds does not turn into a black hole. (See recent question "If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of ...
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3answers
916 views

Has the black hole information loss paradox been settled?

This question was triggered by a comment of Peter Shor's (he is a skeptic, it seems.) I thought that the holographic principle and AdS/CFT dealt with that, and was enough for Hawking to give John ...
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A flyby of orbiting supermassive black holes

Consider two supermassive black holes of equal mass orbiting about their common centre of mass. Is it the case that a free-fall trajectory along the axis of rotation would be outside of either event ...
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If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of light would it turn into a black hole?

I'm a big fan of the podcast Astronomy Cast and a while back I was listening to a Q&A episode they did. A listener sent in a question that I found fascinating and have been wondering about ever ...