Hot answers tagged

65

I'm not a quantum cosmologist, but I am an early-universe cosmologist, so I can give you my opinion after having read this paper. The article claims that Bohmian trajectories is a valid replacement for geodesics. This was claimed in the very beginning of the paper and not much is offered in the way of defense for this assumption. That's not to say that it's ...


47

The phrase black hole tends to be used without specifying exactly what it means, and defining exactly what you mean is important to answer your question. The archetypal black hole is a mathematical object discovered by Karl Schwarzschild in 1915 - the Schwarzschild metric. The curious thing about this object is that it contains no matter. Techically it is a ...


44

Yes, the particle would continue to accelerate and would never reach a terminal velocity. But that is not what this equation tells you. This equation tells you what the terminal velocity is, given the parameters of the function. When in a vacuum, there is no terminal velocity. It is not zero, it is not infinity. A terminal velocity literally does not exist ...


31

At first many people didn't care much for black holes. But later people showed that they were pretty unavoidable features of the theory of general relativity and that theory made other quite precise predictions that were tested and found good. So when you are told that black holes are required if you have GR and GR looks like the best game in town then it ...


29

Short answer is yes. But if you want to nit pick, I could argue that when a star collapses to form a BH, it first forms a horizon before the singularity forms (cannot form a "naked singularity"). And since time inside the horizon is essentially frozen with respect to that of an observer outside, the singularity NEVER forms. Yet from the point of view of the ...


26

While this work certainly investigates an interesting point, I think simply replacing geodesics in GR with similarly looking quantum trajectories does not solve the issues here. Finding the Friedmann equations while assuming large-scale homogeneity and isotropy is no surprise to me. There are a number of people working on so-called Big-Bounce Cosmologies. ...


22

Indeed you made one mistake: the infalling observer does not see the outside universe "speed up". Look at what happens in a space-time diagram. At the spacetime point where your astronaut passes the horizon, he can only see what's in his past light cone, and that's the universe at early times only. It's the signals that he sends back (or tries to) that reach ...


19

There are 3 observations that support the big bang theory, i.e. origin of the universe in a singularity: The redshift of galaxies, as you already mentioned. The cosmic background radiation. The amounts of different nuclei in the universe, notably the preponderance of light elements like hydrogen and helium. Each of these alone would probably not be ...


19

...why do we trust black hole physics? ... (physics which is derived by combining quantum mechanics and GR such as Hawking Radiation, things relating to the Information Paradox, etc. ) Formally, there isn't quite a reason to because we've not observed these things yet. But that's also perfectly okay as well because that is how science sometimes works: ...


18

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 assumption? It's not an assumption, it's a calculation plus a theorem, the Penrose singularity theorem. The calculation is the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff ...


17

There are only four known stable black hole geometries: Schwarzschild, Reissner-Nordstrom, Kerr and Kerr-Newman. We expect that any random assemblage of matter dense enough to form a black hole will relax into one of these four geometries by emission of gravitational waves. None of these geometries has two distinct singularities, so (as far as we know) it is ...


16

If something is infinitely dense, must it not also be infinitely massive? Nope. The singularity is a point where volume goes to zero, not where mass goes to infinity. It is a point with zero volume, but which still holds mass, due to the extreme stretching of space by gravity. The density is $\frac{mass}{volume}$, so we say that in the limit ...


15

Suppose you have some collection of matter that is so dense it has an event horizon where the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. The escape velocity is obviously due to the strong gravitational field of the matter inside the event horizon, and equally obviously that matter is also pulled by its own gravity towards its centre of mass. Also ...


14

It's important to understand the context in which statements like "there must be a singularity in a black hole" are made. This context is provided by the model used to derive the results. In this case, it was classical (meaning "non quantum") general relativity theory that was used to predict the existence of singularities in spacetime. Hawking and ...


14

The many comments have covered the main points about the question, but I thought it would be worthwhile explaining how the behaviour is calculated. If we solve the Einstein equation for a point mass we get the Schwarzschild metric: $$ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)dt^2 + \left(1-\frac{2M}{r}\right)^{-1}dr^2 + r^2 d\Omega^2$$ All equations look scary to ...


14

I) The substitution $f=r\psi$ is the standard substitution to get a radial 3D problem to resemble a 1D problem, see e.g. Ref. 1. II) From the perspective of the normalization of the wavefunction $\psi(r)$, a $1/r$ singularity of $\psi(r)$ at $r=0$ is fine because $|\psi(r)|^2$ is suppressed by a Jacobian factor $r^2$ coming from the measure in 3D spherical ...


14

I think the closest model to what you're talking about would be two colliding black holes, during the intermediate period where their horizons had merged, but the central objects had not yet collided. These systems are very different from isolated black holes, as they give off significant gravitational radiation, and have horizons that rapidly change in ...


13

In classical General Relativity, once an event horizon forms, every particle inside that event horizon will inevitably travel in the direction of the center of the black hole. This is what is meant by "gravitational collapse" and how matter comes to form a singularity in the center- no matter how small it is, or how close to the center it is, nothing can ...


13

This is actually a common question. Many websites have been setup to try to explain this. I like this one for instance. I shall attempt to do my own layman explanation. First of all, in order to have a black hole, you need to have a place for it to be in. Since there was no such thing as a universe, there isn't a place for the black hole to actually ...


13

A singularity is a condition in which geodesics are incomplete. For example, if you drop yourself into a black hole, your world-line terminates at the singularity. It's not just that you're destroyed. You (and the subatomic particles you're made of) have no future world-lines. A careful definition of geodesic incompleteness is a little tricky, because we ...


13

The singularity is not a physically established fact but a prediction of a classical field theory (that's what general relativity is). Such predictions are usually seen as a sign that a theory breaks down in a certain regime or on a certain scale and that it has to be replaced with a better theory. Unfortunately for us, no measurement has been made to date ...


12

If the Universe is spatially infinite, it always had to be spatially infinite, even though the distances were shortened by an arbitrary factor right after the Big Bang. In the case of a spatially infinite Universe, one has to be careful that the singularity doesn't necessarily mean a single point in space. It is a place - the whole Universe - where ...


12

A high enough energy density is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition for black holes to form: one needs to have a center which will ultimately become the center of the black holes; one needs the matter that collapses to the black hole to have a low enough velocity so that gravity may squeeze it before the matter manages to fly away and dilute ...


12

The nature of singularities in GR is a delicate issue. A good review of the difficulties presented to define a singularity are in Geroch's paper What is a singularity in GR? The problem of attaching a boundary in general to a spacetime is that there is not natural way to do it. for example, in the FRW metric the manifold at $t=0$ can be described by two ...


11

If someone taught you that the expansion of the universe necessarily implies a singularity, then he was wrong. The past singularity is not the only possible initial condition. There are actually several models that predict different scenarios. For example there is the eternal inflation scenario, where there is no initial singularity. There is also Turoks ...


11

You are correct when you concluded that two classical point electrons could never touch each other. It would take infinite energy.


11

Although we don't have a quantum theory of gravity, we think we have some reliable knowledge about the properties of black holes from general relativity. One thing we think we know is the so-called "No-hair conjecture", which says that black holes can be described by just three numbers: mass, charge, and angular momentum (i.e. how much they are spinning). ...


10

Black holes and "anti"-black holes are the same objects. A black hole resulting from the collapse of normal matter, and a black hole resulting from the collapse of antimatter, are indistinguishable. Recall that black holes only have charge, mass, and spin and there is no way to tell that a black hole originally was matter or not (e.g., we can't measure B or ...


10

We don't know what will happen when a photon or any other particle hits a singularity of a black hole. The singularity is a phenomenon of classical general relativity and the singularity is really is an indication that classical general relativity breaks down there. To really understand what happens near a singularity we need a full quantum mechanical ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible