I recently watched this video on YouTube by PBS Space Time called "Do Events Inside Black Holes Happen?"

This video talks about many misconceptions about black holes, such as how it does not make any sense to discuss any events which take place inside a black hole as they do not possess a "when", and because of this it does not make sense to discuss light not being able to escape from the inside of the event horizon, as external observers do not perceive such events. Instead, black holes are explained to be black because light is so severely redshifted such that it becomes undetectable.

The video explains various thought-provoking concepts such as how black holes are in fact not really objects but are actually a set of events unreachable for external observers, and also how the mass of a black hole does not make any intuitive sense because nothing goes past the event horizon.

I feel that most mainstream sources on the internet are plagued with such misconceptions and issues, using phrases such as "falling into a black hole", or "things cannot escape the inside of a black hole" etc., which have been explained to be conceptually flawed by the video. Are there any further sources which I can qualitatively or quantitatively pursue the concept of black holes as unreachable spacetime events in this context, instead of simply massive objects?

It seems that my question as a whole is a bit too open and unclear, possibly because I am quite confused by this entirely new concept of black holes not as objects but as events?

More specifically, I am looking for an explanation which can link up the traditional "layman" understanding of a black hole, and this new concept of a black hole in which mass has no "meaning?" and is simply a collection of events that external observers have no access to?

(By "traditionally layman" I am using Wikipedia's definition of one as "a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it...a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole." Most internet sources generally use this to define a black hole. I am unsure if this definition is accurate or incomplete, it would be nice if someone could clarify this.)

I am also looking for possible resources that I could read up on so that I may grasp this new concept better.

Apologies for my poor phrasing. I am struggling to piece the puzzle together!


closed as unclear what you're asking by Void, John Rennie, user191954, Kyle Kanos, Jon Custer Sep 14 '18 at 17:19

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    $\begingroup$ They are not flawed statements, they are just the perspective of the in-falling observer. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Thorngren Sep 13 '18 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ You misunderstood this completely. The "monkey" in the video fell into the black hole. The monkey knows it and the narrator goes to some length explaining how things go from the monkey's perspective. That the pony and the narrator cannot observe some of those events is different. Moreover, these events do have a "when" for the monkey. You seem to think they don't even have a "when" for him. $\endgroup$ – Brick Sep 13 '18 at 17:52
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    $\begingroup$ Also, I think that parts of the "misconceptions" are themselves misconceptions - or at least very badly explained. $\endgroup$ – Brick Sep 13 '18 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ Black holes are tricky! There are several different classes of observers, and they tend to measure rather different things. I recommend browsing the high scoring black hole questions here. The info here isn't perfect: there can be errors in even high scoring answers, but those tend to get corrected. And some of the answers may be too technical & use advanced mathematics, which can make them hard to understand. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Sep 14 '18 at 7:18