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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Why does a star collapse under its own gravity when the gravity at its centre is zero?

The gravity at the centre of a star is zero as in the case of any uniform solid sphere with some mass. When a massive star dies, why does it give rise to a black hole at it's centre? I know how to ...
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Throwing a micro black hole into the sun: does it collapse into a black hole or does it result in a supernova?

What do we know about accretion rates of micro black holes? Suppose a relative small black hole (mass about $10^9$ kilograms) would be thrown into the sun. Eventually this black hole will swallow all ...
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How can a black hole reduce the speed of light?

If the speed of light is always constant then light should escape from a black hole because if directed radially outwards it only needs to travel a finite distance to escape, and at a speed of $c$ it ...
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Isn't gravity non-local and non-causal?

The way I think of this is that, I can ask physical questions about a space-time which are impossible to answer unless one knows the full space-time, and hence I am inclined to believe that gravity is ...
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Given that matter cannot escape a black hole, how did the big bang produce the universe we see today?

Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. If the matter contained within our ...
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Do all massive bodies emit Hawking radiation?

It is known that any accelerated observer is subject to a heat bath due to Unruh radiation. The principle of equivalence suggests that any stationary observer on the surface of a massive body should ...
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In there such a thing as the Black Hole Information Paradox?

When I first heard about the black hole information paradox, I thought it had no content. At the time, papers about it had been written for numerous years and they keep on coming. Now that the press ...
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What was the entropy of the universe at the time of the Big Bang?

(I asked this question in Philosophy.SE; but I was advised to direct it here, despite it is, in my opinion, somewhat too speculative for physics.SE). High entropy generally means high disorder; and ...
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Can space be torn?

If space is warped by objects in space, and black holes are made of infinitely heavy objects, can space be torn by black holes?
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How does light behave within a black hole's event horizon?

If the event horizon of a black hole is the distance from the center from within which light cannot escape, imagine a person with a flashlight falls into the black hole. He points his flashlight in a ...
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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: ...
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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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Curvature Invariants in General Relativity and Singularities

Suppose that I want to check if a given metric is singular or not. I'm interested in curvature singularities, not coordinate singularities, so I can look to scalars made with Ricci, Riemann and Weyl ...
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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 ...
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Black hole with two singularities?

I hope this question isn't too naive, but would it theoretically be possible to have a black hole with 2 singularities (or 2 black holes at the same location). If this is possible, would there be any ...
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Information Retrieval

This question is motivated by the issue of information retrieval from black holes, but it is essentially a question about quantum information. It is widely believed (in certain circles) that the ...
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A Sphere of Black Holes

Imagine a sphere of black holes surrounding a piece of space. Will this piece be separated from the rest of normal spacetime (at least for some time, till these black holes finally attracted ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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An explanation of Hawking Radiation

Could someone please provide an explanation for the origin of Hawking Radiation? (Ideally someone who I have been speaking with on the h-bar) Any advanced maths beyond basic calculus will most ...
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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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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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A Theorem Due to Hodge: Hawking/Ellis

This is probably quite an obscure question but hopefully somebody has a simple answer. I'm studying the proof of the topology theorem on black holes due to Hawking and Ellis (Proposition 9.3.2, p. 335 ...
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Do black holes violate the first law of thermodynamics?

When a black hole absorbs matter is it destroying that mass, thereby destroying energy, therefore violating the first law of thermodynamics?
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Could the black hole in the center of the galaxy be a white hole?

In the center of the galaxy there is a strong radio source which we call Sagittarius A*. Based on the high speed and orbit of nearby stars we have calculated that something with the mass of more than ...
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Why don't the black holes appear black in color in images of galaxies taken from HST?

According to NASA a black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area According to the documentary Space Unraveling The Cosmos about ...
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Can He-4 atoms create black holes?

Suppose that in the intergalactic space far from any significant gravitational attractors there is a relatively small concentration of He-4 atoms. Due to gravitational attraction fermions in this case ...
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How does the Pauli exclusion principle create a force in degenerate matter?

My understanding is that when it comes to forming a white dwarf, it is the electron degeneracy pressure, due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, preventing collapse in of the white dwarf. If the ...
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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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Why must a singularity form inside a black hole? [duplicate]

What is the exact reason that normal matter can not exist within an event horizon? I can understand how a super-dense object like a neutron star could accrete mass until its physical radius is less ...
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Black hole “no hair” theorem

The "no hair" theorem (or conjecture), suggests that black holes can be entirely described by their mass, angular momentum and charge. All other details of the BH formation are lost. Is there a ...
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Extremal black hole with no angular momentum and no electric charge

A black hole will have a temperature that is a function of the mass, the angular momentum and the electric charge. For a fixed mass, Angular momentum and electric charge are bounded by the extremality ...
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What happened to the black hole firewall theory?

What happened to the black hole firewall theory? Back in 2012, some physicists apparently came up with strong evidence that one of three things must be wrong for black holes to work the way we thought ...
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Is the flatness of space a measure of entropy?

This is a bit quirky: For a very long time I've found Stephen Hawking's evaporating small black holes a lot more reasonable and intuitive than large black holes. The main reason is that gravity is ...
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Can one black hole suck in another black hole?

In the recent news, scientists at NASA have found “unprecedented” black hole cluster near Andromeda’s central bulge. I wonder why doesn't all these black holes merge and such each other in until just ...
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Big Bang snuffed by a black hole?

Wasn't the density of the universe at the moment after the Big Bang so great as to create a black hole? If the answer is that the universe/space-time can expand anyway what does it imply about what ...
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If the observable universe were compressed into a super massive black hole, how big would it be?

I understand only a little of general relativity, but that's why I'm here! :) Consider the hypothetical situation of some extra-terrestrial intelligence pushing all the mass in the observable ...
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What is exactly the density of a black hole and how can it be calculated?

How do scientists calculate that density? What data do they have to calculate that?
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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 ...
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Black hole no-hair theorems vs. entropy and surface area

I was revisiting some old popular science books a while ago and two statements struck me as incompatible. No-hair theorems: a black hole is fully-described by just a few numbers (mass, spin etc) ...
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What is the maximum time dilation factor when orbiting a rotating black hole?

Suppose one spaceship is stably orbiting a rotating black hole and another is far away from the black hole. What is the maximum time dilation factor between the two ships? Can it be made arbitrarily ...
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How many bits are encoded on the surface of the smallest black hole?

Here's my guess ($157\, \textrm{bits}$) and how I got there. Please feel free to disregard completely and give your own answer. My understanding (please correct any wrong assumptions as there may be ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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How can a singularity in a black hole rotate if it's just a point?

I guess nobody really knows the true nature of black holes, however, based on everything I know about black holes, there is a "singularity" at their center, which has finite mass but is infinitely ...
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Can we have a black hole without a singularity?

Assuming we have a sufficiently small and massive object such that it's escape velocity is greater than the speed of light, isn't this a black hole? It has an event horizon that light cannot escape, ...
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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 ...