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

6
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
3k 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 and how they approach either other, but I was wondering if somebody could provide some rough bounds (e.g. hours ...
2
votes
2answers
503 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
414 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
651 views
15
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
859 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
503 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 ...
3
votes
9answers
3k views

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 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
326 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
820 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 ...
12
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) ...
4
votes
3answers
329 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
873 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
664 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
368 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
281 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
902 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
710 views

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, ...
20
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
743 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
586 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
866 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
290 views

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 ...
21
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
718 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
316 views

Gamma-ray bursts: A supernova connection

Can the gamma ray bursts connected to a new supernova prevent the black hole from forming? Quoting the abstract of the linked reference "...has become clear that probably all long GRBs are ...
12
votes
4answers
880 views

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 ...
2
votes
5answers
514 views

Black Hole Singularities

If two black holes collide and then evaporate, do they leave behind two naked sigularities ore? If there are two, can we know how they interact?
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Is there a black hole in the centre of the Milky Way?

Is it true that the whole galaxy is actually revolving, and powered by a black hole? Has it been proven, and if it is true, how can our solar systems actually keep up the momentum to withstand the ...
2
votes
3answers
303 views

What is the color shift if light passes between two (or more) black holes?

If we observe light that originates X light years away, but it passes between black holes X/2 light years away, will it be normal or red shifted or blue shifted? What if the black holes were X/4 or ...
11
votes
5answers
889 views

Double slit experiment near event horizon

What happens if you perform a double slit experiment near an event horizon, if one of the slits is outside, one is inside the event horizon?
25
votes
6answers
3k views

How fast a (relatively) small black hole will consume the Earth?

This question appeared quite a time ago and was inspired, of course, by all the fuss around "LHC will destroy the Earth". Consider a small black hole, that is somehow got inside the Earth. Under ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
638 views

What happens if a black hole sucks up a massive amount of oxygen and hydrogen?

Suppose a black hole were to suck up a massive amount of surrounding oxygen and hydrogen. Would this ignite inside the black hole and turn it back into a star?
13
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
509 views

How do you explain the observed fact that “black hole” objects move?

As per Newton objects with mass attract each other, and per Einstein this is further explained by saying that mass warps space-time. So a massive object makes a "dent" into space-time, a gravity well. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Supermassive black holes with the density of the Universe

This question was inspired by the answer to the question "If the universe were compressed into a super massive black hole, how big would it be" Assume that we have a matter with a uniform density ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

How precisely does a star collapse into a black hole?

I think we all heard general statements like "once big enough star burns out there is nothing to prevent the gravitational collapse ending in a black hole". But I can't remember even seeing the ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
230 views

What kind of systems of black holes satisfy the laws of black hole thermodynamics?

I've come across black holes thermodynamics multiple times recently (both at this site and elsewhere) and some things started bugging me. For one thing, first law bothers me a little. It is a ...
4
votes
4answers
645 views

White Holes and Time-Reversed Oppenheimer-Snyder collapse

So, the canned explanation that I always hear about why the white hole solution of the extended Schwarzschild solution is non-physical is that "The matter distribution cuts off the white hole ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

If I fall into an evaporating black hole, where do I end up?

This question has been bothering me for a while. I have a crude hypothesis... As I understand it, an observer falling into a black hole will cross the event horizon at some specific future (proper) ...