Assuming that when an electron that changes energy states in an atom, and moves to a different orbit around the nucleus, but does not move through the space between orbits when it changes states, an electron is not strictly confined to spacetime. Then, since the event horizon of a black hole is a extreme distortion of spacetime, it would seem possible that a [EDIT: free] electron could "evade" this limit and escape a black hole.

To clarify, I am not suggesting that all of the electrons would escape, just some of them. Persumably, most of the electrons would be forced to bind with protons and form neutrons.

I'm just trying to get this idea clear in my head, so I assume I may have to make some edits to get my point across.


No, and certainly not by the mechanism you describe.

The "orbits" of electrons around nuclei are structures created by the electromagnetic force. This force is mediated by photons, which cannot pass out of the event horizon by definition of the event horizon.

So even in the highly implausible scenario in which an atomic structure existed within a black hole, the notion of it defining an electronic orbital state outside of the event horizon is impossible.

I am not qualified to discuss how quantum tunneling (a phenomenon of which I was reminded by your question) and black holes would interact.

But your scenario is implausible simply because atoms are not a structure that can exist in a region of space as contorted as that near an event horizon.

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    $\begingroup$ This paper (from a low-impact and to me unknown journal) seems to explain Hawking radiation in terms of tunneling. This paper, which seems more legit, claims that particles can tunnel out of a black hole only if it's spinning. $\endgroup$ – pela Apr 21 '16 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ Duncan, I never meant to imply that typical atomic structure exsists in a black hole. I was refering too a particular characteristic of an electron, which might exsist as a free electron just inside the event horizon. This assumes that the atomic structure has broken down. Edited $\endgroup$ – chaz327 Apr 22 '16 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ @pela Your comment was very useful, but I think I'll read Lewis Carroll's "Hunting Of The Snark" instead. $\endgroup$ – Howard Miller Apr 22 '16 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ @HowardMiller: I can recommend James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" when you're done :) $\endgroup$ – pela Apr 22 '16 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ @pela Maybe after I finish Gregory Benford's "Galactic Center" series. Again. $\endgroup$ – Howard Miller Apr 22 '16 at 17:38

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