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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Charged Black holes - What is the Interest in those?

Here in this forum (and elsewhre) I read about "charged" black holes. What is the background for this questions? Is this more a question of theroretical interest? In "practice" :=) black holes ...
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Detection of the Electric Charge of a Black Hole

By the "No Hair Theorem", three quantities "define" a black hole; Mass, Angular Momentum, and Charge. The first is easy enough to determine, look at the radius of the event horizon and you can use the ...
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Returning Light

What happen if someone is just close enough to a black hole, and he emits light tangentially out, and the light got bent and circles around, what will he see, can he see the light source from his ...
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Can black holes actually merge?

If time stops at the event horizon, can we ever detect two black holes merging? In other words, if you are a short distance away, would you encounter a spherically symmetric gravitational field, or a ...
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What is Hawking radiation and how does it cause a black hole to evaporate?

My understanding is that Hawking radiation isn't really radiated from a black hole, but rather occurs when a particle anti-particle pair spontaneously pop into existence, and before they can ...
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How do we know that black holes evaporate?

This has been bugging me for some time. As I understand it, Hawking radiation is the result of the mismatch between the vacuum state of a quantum field as seen by a free falling observer (falling ...
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Notational(?) Question in Whiting's Paper “Mode Stability of the Kerr Black Hole”

I am a math grad student attempting to read Bernard Whiting's paper "Mode Stability of the Kerr Black Hole." If you are in a university network, the paper should be easily found by a google search. At ...
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What happens to light and mass in the center of a black hole?

I know that black holes are "black" because nothing can escape it due to the massive gravity, but I am wondering if there are any theories as to what happens to the light or mass that enters a black ...
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How exactly does time slow down near a black hole?

How exactly does time slow down near a black hole? I have heard this as a possible way of time traveling, and I do understand that it is due in some way to the massive gravity around a black hole, but ...
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How would you describe a black hole to a complete layman?

Non-astrophysicist visitors to Black Hole, will most likely barely make it past the introduction before getting lost in the technical details. Moreover, the Wikipedia article does not teach laypeople ...
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Why is BTZ black hole asymptotically $AdS_3$?

The metric for the BTZ black hole is $ds^2=-N^2dt^2+N^{-2}dr^2+r^2(N^\phi dt +d\phi)^2$ where $N^2=-M+\frac{r^2}{l^2}+\frac{J^2}{4r^2}$ and $N^\phi=-\frac{J}{2r^2}$. It is often said that BTZ black ...
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How do we determine the mass of a black hole?

Since by definition we cannot observe black holes directly, how do astronomers determine the mass of a black hole? What observational techniques are there that would allow us to determine a black ...
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Why does a black hole have a finite mass?

I mean besides the obvious "it has to have finite mass or it would suck up the universe." A singularity is a dimensionless point in space with infinite density, if I'm not mistaken. If something is ...
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Why isn't black hole information loss this easy (am I missing something basic)?

Ok, so on Science channel was a special about Hawking/Susskind debating black holes, which can somehow remove information from the universe. A) In stars, fusion converts 4 hydrogen into 1 helium, ...
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Collision of charged black holes

Suppose there are two charged black holes which collide to form a bigger black hole. But when they combine, a lot of potential energy of the system is lost/gained depending on their charges (the ...
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Hayden-Preskill informational mirrors and decryption

I do have a question about an assumption made in the very interesting Hayden-Preskill paper of black holes as informational mirrors. Alice throws her top secret quantum diary which is $k$ qubits long ...
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Primordial Black Hole Detection

There's ample direct evidence for the existence of galactic and stellar mass black holes. However, there is no such direct evidence of primordial black holes, those formed after the Big Bang. A recent ...
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How can a black hole emit X-rays?

Considering that a black hole's gravity prevents light from escaping, how can a black hole emit X-rays? Visible light and X-rays are both electromagnetic radiation, shouldn't the black hole's gravity ...
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Do all black holes have a singularity?

If a large star goes supernova, but not enough mass collapses to form a black hole, it often forms a neutron star. My understanding is that this is the densest object that can exist because of the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...