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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

11
votes
4answers
861 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
756 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
456 views

Can matter really fall through an event horizon?

This question is closely related to Event horizons without singularities from about a year ago (May 2012), which John Rennie answered nicely and persuasively. My variant of the question is this: ...
11
votes
2answers
692 views

If a Kerr-Newman black hole is like a charged, spinning, heavy magnet, what kind of magnet is it like?

I was reading up on De Sitter spaces, which states that the gravitational effects from a black hole is indistinguishable from any other spherically symmetric mass distribution. This makes a lot of ...
11
votes
3answers
534 views

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
463 views

Euclidean derivation of the black hole temperature; conical singularities

I am studying the derivation of the black hole temperature by means of the Euclidean approach, i.e. by Wick rotating, compactifying the Euclidean time and identifying the period with the inverse ...
11
votes
1answer
218 views

General definition of an event horizon?

Horizons are in general observer-dependent. For example, in Minkowski space, an observer who experiences constant proper acceleration has a horizon. Black hole horizons are usually defined as ...
11
votes
0answers
242 views

How is the logarithmic correction to the entropy of a non extremal black hole derived?

I`ve just read, that for non extremal black holes, there exists a logarithmic (and other) correction(s) to the well known term proportional to the area of the horizon such that $S = \frac{A}{4G} + K ...
10
votes
3answers
859 views

Why is a black hole black?

In general relativity (ignoring Hawking radiation), why is a black hole black? Why nothing, not even light, can escape from inside a black hole? To make the question simpler, say, why is a ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

What are cosmological “firewalls”?

Reading the funny title of this talk, Black Holes and Firewalls, just made me LOL because I have no idea what it is about but a lively imagination :-P (Sorry Raphael Bousso but the title is just too ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Anti-Matter Black Holes

Assuming for a second that there were a pocket of anti matter somewhere sufficiently large to form all the type of object we can see forming from normal matter - then one of these objects would be a ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
542 views

Hawking radiation and reversibility

It's often said that, as long as the information that fell into a black hole comes out eventually in the Hawking radiation (by whatever means), pure states remain pure rather than evolving into mixed ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

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) ...
9
votes
3answers
831 views

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 ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
507 views

Black Hole Photon Sphere

The photon sphere is a spherical region in space where photons are forced to travel in an orbit at $r = \frac{3GM}{c^{2}}$. Is it possible to detect these spheres? What happens if I fall through ...
9
votes
2answers
183 views

What is a sudden singularity?

I've seen references to some sort of black hole (or something) referred to as a sudden singularity, but I haven't seen a short clear definition of what this is for the layman.
9
votes
5answers
556 views

Is it possible for one black hole to pull an object out of another black hole?

Suppose we have a spacecraft just inside the event horizon of a black hole, struggling to escape, but slowly receding into it. Another (bigger) black hole expands until its event horizon includes the ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How would a black hole power plant work?

A black hole power plant (BHPP) is something I'll define here as a machine that uses a black hole to convert mass into energy for useful work. As such, it constitutes the 3rd kind of matter-energy ...
9
votes
1answer
92 views

Global symmetry in string theory

It is often stated that in quantum gravity only charges coupled to gauge fields can be conserved. This is because of the no hair theorem. If a charge is coupled to a gauge field then when it falls ...
9
votes
1answer
556 views

Second Law of Black Hole Thermodynamics

I've been looking for a satisfying proof of this, and can't quite find it. I read the brief proof of the black hole area theorem in Wald, which is similar, but doesn't quite come down to the actual ...
9
votes
1answer
555 views

If you are carrying a magnet, can you tell when you cross the event horizon of a black hole?

By the no hair theorem, a black hole is completely characterized by it's mass, charge and angular momentum. Therefore dipole and higher pole magnetic fields are completely expelled when a black hole ...
9
votes
2answers
185 views

Would the horizon of a black hole be different for a tachyon than for subluminal matter or photons?

One of the most useful black hole analogies I've seen imagines that space is "flowing" like a river into a black hole, and the point at which it flows in faster than c is the horizon. This analogy ...
9
votes
3answers
647 views

Is the observable region of the universe within the event horizon of a super-massive black hole?

Observations: I have read that for a free-falling observer within the event horizon of a black hole that all lines of sight will end at the singularity which is black. I also look up and see that ...
9
votes
4answers
317 views

Solid objects inside the event horizon - can they remain “solid”?

So, once something is inside a black hole's event horizon, it can only move towards the center. This is fine for a point-object. But 3D solid objects rely on molecular forces to stay in one piece. ...
9
votes
0answers
156 views

Is the Hawking radiation of a charged black hole thermal?

Suppose you have a Schwarzschild black hole of mass $M$ and angular parameter $a = 0$ (no rotation). Question: is it possible to throw a charge $Q$ at a faster rate than it will be re-radiated? Will ...
8
votes
2answers
778 views

What happens when the black hole at a galactic core eats the galaxy?

I'm making several assumptions, not sure if any are correct: there is a black hole at the center of a galaxy the black hole is eating the galaxy Eventually the galaxy will be gone, right? Has ...
8
votes
4answers
484 views

At what rate does a rotating black hole lose mass via Hawking Radiation?

I initially thought it was inversely proportional to the mass, but I think that's wrong because temperature is inversely proportional to mass. If someone could give the formula(s) for finding this ...
8
votes
2answers
652 views

What is the physical size of a black hole?

Something that's always confused me. How large is a black hole's physical size - not mass? From descriptions, it would seem that the 'singularity' is a single point, but is it really? Say for ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Black holes and positive/negative-energy particles

I was reading Brian Greene's "Hidden Reality" and came to the part about Hawking Radiation. Quantum jitters that occur near the event horizon of a black hole, which create both positive-energy ...
8
votes
3answers
246 views

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 ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

The final death of a black hole

What are the different death scenarios for a black hole? I know they can evaporate through Hawking radiation - but is there any other way? What if you just kept shoveling more and more mass and ...
8
votes
1answer
194 views

If Black Hole never forms, how important will be to study Black Hole paradoxes?

I recently came across a paper Black Hole - Never Forms, or Never Evaporates. It is claimed that under general evaporation conditions, before particles come into the Black Hole, the Black Hole itself ...
8
votes
2answers
184 views

Could an ultra-relativistic particle tunnel directly through a stellar mass black hole?

It occurred to me in passing that the Lorentz contraction of a black hole from the perspective of an ultra-relativistic (Lorentz factor larger than about 10^16) particle could reduce the thickness of ...
8
votes
1answer
122 views

Is it expected tha all stellar black holes will be spinning near the maximum allowed $\omega$-velocity?

Using a bit of classical reasoning I'm imagining black hole formation to be much like an ice skater pulling in her arms: Now, the size difference between a star and its black hole can't even be ...
8
votes
1answer
141 views

Multipolar expansion profile of Hawking radiation on Kerr black holes

I would be very curious if Kerr black holes emit Hawking radiation at the same temperature in the equatorial bulges and in their polar regions. I've been looking some reference for this for a couple ...
8
votes
3answers
432 views

Thermodynamically reversed black holes, firewalls, Casimir effect, null energy condition violations

Scott Aaronson asked a very deep question at Hawking radiation and reversibility about what happens if black hole evolution is reversed thermodynamically. Most of the commenters missed his point ...
8
votes
1answer
434 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
525 views

Evidence for black hole event horizons

I know that there's a lot of evidence for extremely compact bodies. But is there any observation from which we can infer the existence of an actual horizon? Even if we are able to someday resolve ...
8
votes
3answers
781 views

Will the Big Rip tear black holes apart?

There seems to be an obvious contradiction between the predictions of the physics of black holes and the Big Rip, a predicted event about 16.7 Gyr in the future where local groups, galaxies, solar ...
8
votes
2answers
455 views

Black hole complementarity - absorption of Hawking radiation

I try to understand two principles formulated by Leonard Susskind in his book The Black Hole War: 1, To any observer who remains outside a black hole, the stretched horizon appears to be a hot layer ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
700 views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
390 views

Are black holes really singularities?

A popular assumption about black holes is that their gravity grows beyond any limit so it beats all repulsive forces and the matter collapses into a singularity. Is there any evidence for this ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Why can't dark matter be black holes?

Since 90 % of matter is what we cannot see, why can't it be black-holes from early on? Is is possible to figure out that there are no black holes in the line of sight of various stars/galaxies we ...
7
votes
3answers
501 views

What makes a supermassive black hole move through space?

In this example of a Neutrino jet, it seems that the supermassive black hole moves around the space and meets up with a interstellar object sometimes. Source of the above image and a larger ...
7
votes
2answers
458 views

What happens to orbits at small radii in general relativity?

I know that (most) elliptic orbits precess due to the math of general relativity, like this: source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-body_problem_in_general_relativity I also know that something ...