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 (1)

12
votes
6answers
702 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
2answers
3k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

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, ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Would the inside of a black hole be like a giant mirror?

As any light reflected or emitted from objects inside a black hole (if it is possible to be there) does not leave the event horizon and comes back inside, would it be like seeing yourself? What I ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does a singularity need to exist at the center of a black hole?

Sorry if this is a very basic question, but I am not a physicist, but this is something that has always intrigued me. I have read that the properties of a black hole are its mass, spin and angular ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the capture cross-section of a black hole region for ultra-relativistic particles?

What is the capture cross-section of a black hole region for ultra-relativistic particles? I have read that it is $$\sigma ~=~ \frac{27}{4}\pi R^{2}_{s}$$ for a Schwarzschild BH in the geometric ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
817 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
324 views

Bekenstein entropy black hole v.s Hawking entropy black hole

Historically, Bekenstein estimated the entropy associated with a black hole in 1973, obtaining: $$ S_B = \frac{\ln(2)k_Bc^3}{8\pi\hbar G}A. $$ He already acknowledges in his article that his estimates ...
12
votes
1answer
380 views

Quantum uncertainty of particle falling in black hole

A stationary observer at infinity sees a particle of mass m falling in a supermassive Schwarzschild black hole. He observes an increasing redshift and sees the particle ceasing to progress when it ...
12
votes
1answer
399 views

How long can a particle survive inside of the horizon of a black hole?

By examining the causal structure of a Schwarzschild black hole, one can see that a particle in region II is unable to escape to $r=\infty$. Such diagrams do not show, however, how long a particle ...
12
votes
0answers
429 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
521 views

Doesn't the Schwarzschild metric combined with Hawking radiation imply that nothing ever gets past the event horizon of a black hole?

According to the General Theory of Relativity, the coordinate time distance per spacetime distance traveled by a particle freely falling into a black hole gets closer and closer to $0$ as the particle ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

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

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the question: 'Is our universe the inside of a black hole?' meaningful? [duplicate]

By meaningful I mean experimentally falsifiable.
11
votes
6answers
6k views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How many times can light revolve around a black hole?

Take a light ray approaching a black hole from infinity which goes out again to infinity. What is the maximum finite rotation it can describe? (I know it can loop around indefinitely in the ...
11
votes
1answer
945 views

Can a black hole form due to Lorentz contraction? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of light would it turn into a black hole? Imagine, a rod of length L is moving with velocity approaching the speed of light ...
11
votes
5answers
918 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?
11
votes
2answers
298 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.
11
votes
5answers
738 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How much energy can be extracted by lowering something into a black hole? [duplicate]

If an object is in orbit around a star, the object has gravitational potential energy that could possibly be extracted. For example, when we perform gravitational slingshots around Jupiter, our ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Are electrons just incompletely evaporated black holes?

Imagine a black hole that is fast-approaching its final exponential throws of Hawking evaporation. Presumably, at all points in this end process there there will remain a region that identifiably ...
11
votes
4answers
680 views

Which gets you first when you are falling into a black hole, the black hole singularity or the cosmic background radiation?

If you look up while you are falling into a black hole you see the universe blue shifted, that is, you see the universe moving quickly forward in time compared to your local time. Since this effect ...
11
votes
4answers
376 views

What would be the view like from inside a black hole looking towards the event horizon?

Ignoring the fact that we would be torn apart by gravitational gradient and assuming we get some time to make some observations before hitting singularity, what would we see looking towards the event ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

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 ...
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
5answers
4k views

What methods can astronomers use to find a black hole?

How can astronomers say, we know there are black holes at the centre of each galaxy? What methods of indirect detection are there to know where and how big a black hole is?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the LIGO observations constitute proof of a black hole merger, and what happened to the black holes?

Information says that the gravitational waves, recently detected by LIGO, correspond (according to Einstein theory equations) to the effect of two black holes merging (with the masses of both black ...
10
votes
2answers
901 views

Orbits around the Photon sphere of a black hole (Schwarzschild coordinates)

This is a follow-up question to the answer given at What is the exact gravitational force between two masses including relativistic effects?. Unfortunately the author hasn't been online for a few ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Where does light go after it enters a black hole?

Nothing passes through a black hole. Where do things go then? If light enters a black hole, what happens to it? Do things go to a white hole and resume in another universe?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Could Dark Matter form black hole?

Some people speculate that the mysterious dark matter in the universe could be tiny black holes. But on the other side, could dark matter particles attract each other by gravity and finally form a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 it?...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Will a giant ball of protons form a black hole?

Suppose you have enough energy and resources to put together (in a momentarily static configuration in which they are all at rest at the same time) as many protons as you want to form a "proton star". ...
10
votes
3answers
798 views

Using a black hole as a mirror?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENd8Sz0AFOk The YouTube video is a good example how the gravity of this merging binary black holes bend light around themselves.
10
votes
2answers
1k views

AdS Space Boundary and Geodesics

I'm new to working with AdS space and am primarily concerned with black holes. I'm just playing round with the metric for AdS$_4$ $$ds^2=-f(r)dt^2+f^{-1}(r)dr^2+r^2d\zeta^2$$ for $f(r)=r^2+m $, $\...
10
votes
1answer
524 views

How close would you have to be to the merger of two black holes, for the effects of gravitational waves to be detected without instruments?

Assume two black holes in the most common size range, spiraling into each other until they merge. The event releases significant amounts of energy via gravitational waves, which warp the space-time. ...
10
votes
2answers
657 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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
6answers
450 views

Extended object passing near an event horizon

Suppose a physically realistic object of nontrivial size (such as a star) free-falls past a black hole. The center-of-mass trajectory for the object is hyperbolic and (therefore) completely outside ...
10
votes
4answers
407 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. ...
10
votes
4answers
932 views

Event horizons without singularities

Someone answered this question by saying that black hole entropy conditions and no-hair theorems are asymptotic in nature -- the equations give an ideal solution which is approached quickly but never ...
10
votes
2answers
215 views

Can you have black holes in your black holes?

Inspired by Are we inside a black hole?, can you have a black hole such that other black holes are in them? In particular, the event horizon of the larger black hole should completely enclose the ...