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Questions tagged [black-holes]

A black hole is a volume from which matter cannot 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.

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389
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16answers
39k views

How does gravity escape a black hole?

My understanding is that light can not escape from within a black hole (within the event horizon). I've also heard that information cannot propagate faster than the speed of light. It would seem to ...
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Why does Stephen Hawking say black holes don't exist?

Recently, I read in the journal Nature that Stephen Hawking wrote a paper claiming that black holes do not exist. How is this possible? Please explain it to me because I didn't understand what he ...
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9answers
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Does someone falling into a black hole see the end of the universe?

This question was prompted by Can matter really fall through an event horizon?. Notoriously, if you calculate the Schwarzschild coordinate time for anything, matter or light, to reach the event ...
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14answers
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How can anything ever fall into a black hole as seen from an outside observer?

The event horizon of a black hole is where gravity is such that not even light can escape. This is also the point I understand that according to Einstein time dilation will be infinite for a far-away-...
93
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2answers
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Is there such thing as imaginary time dilation?

When I was doing research on General Relativity, I found Einstein's equation for Gravitational Time Dilation. I discovered that when you plugged in a large enough value for $M$ (around $10^{19}$ ...
92
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7answers
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How can a black hole produce sound?

I was reading this article from NASA -- it's NASA -- and literally found myself perplexed. The article describes the discovery that black holes emit a "note" that has physical ramifications on the ...
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7answers
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Thought experiment - would you notice if you fell into a black hole?

I've heard many scientists, when giving interviews and the like, state that if one were falling into a black hole massive enough that the tidal forces at the event horizon weren't too extreme, that ...
79
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Why is information indestructible?

I really can't understand what Leonard Susskind means when he says in the video Leonard Susskind on The World As Hologram that information is indestructible. Is that information that is lost, through ...
66
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8answers
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If the speed of light is constant, why can't it escape a black hole?

When speed is the path traveled in a given time and the path is constant, as it is for $c$, why can't light escape a black hole? It may take a long time to happen but shouldn't there be some light ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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If a mass moves close to the speed of light, does 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 ...
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10answers
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Do all black holes have a singularity?

If a large star goes supernova, but not enough mass collapses to form a black hole, it often forms a neutron star. My understanding is that this is the densest object that can exist because of the ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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From where (in space-time) does Hawking radiation originate?

According to my understanding of black hole thermodynamics, if I observe a black hole from a safe distance I should observe black body radiation emanating from it, with a temperature determined by its ...
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8answers
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Are we inside a black hole?

I was surprised to only recently notice that An object of any density can be large enough to fall within its own Schwarzschild radius. Of course! It turns out that supermassive black holes at ...
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Analog Hawking radiation

I am confused by most discussions of analog Hawking radiation in fluids (see, for example, the recent experimental result of Weinfurtner et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 021302 (2011), arXiv:1008.1911)...
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4answers
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Why is matter-antimatter asymmetry surprising, if asymmetry can be generated by a random walk in which particles go into black holes?

My understanding is the early universe was a very "hot" (ie energy dense) environment. It was even hot enough for black holes to form from photons. My second point of understanding is that black ...
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5answers
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When a star becomes a black hole, does its gravitational field become stronger?

I've seen in a documentary that when a star collapses and becomes a black hole, it starts to eat the planets around. But it has the same mass, so how does its gravitational field strength increase?
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Why is the information paradox restricted to black holes?

I am reading Hawking's "Brief answers". He complained that black holes destroy information (and was trying to find a way to avoid this). What I don't understand: Isn't deleting information quite a ...
42
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3answers
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Why isn't the circumferential light around the M87 black hole's event horizon symmetric?

After the revelation of the first black hole images, it seems there is a bias towards the south side. Is it because of measuring it from earth or is it something more fundamental in the understanding ...
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What is the mass density distribution of an electron?

I am wondering if the mass density profile $\rho(\vec{r})$ has been characterized for atomic particles such as quarks and electrons. I am currently taking an intro class in quantum mechanics, and I ...
41
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3answers
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Does black hole formation contradict the Pauli exclusion principle?

A star's collapse can be halted by the degeneracy pressure of electrons or neutrons due to the Pauli exclusion principle. In extreme relativistic conditions, a star will continue to collapse ...
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Why are planets not crushed by gravity?

Stars can be crushed by gravity and create black holes or neutron stars. Why doesn't the same happen with any planet if it is in the same space time? Please explain it in simple way. Note: I am not a ...
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How much mass can colliding black holes lose as gravitational waves?

Concerning the recent detection of gravitational waves produced by colliding black holes, it has been reported that a significant percentage of the combined mass was lost in the resulting production ...
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6answers
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What is the evidence for a supermassive black hole at the center of Milky Way?

Black holes cannot be seen because they do not emit visible light or any electromagnetic radiation. Then how do astronomers infer their existence? I think it's now almost established in the scientific ...
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5answers
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Why do physicists trust black hole physics?

Based on popular accounts of modern physics and black holes (articles, video lectures), I have come to understand the following: Black holes are predicted by General Relativity, a classical theory of ...
39
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2answers
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What are Stephen Hawking's main contributions to research-level physics?

Without a doubt, Stephen Hawking is the most famous living scientist; indeed, his public visibility in all of history seems to be rivaled only by Einstein and easily eclipses giants of physics such as ...
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Are black holes very dense matter or empty?

The popular description of black holes, especially outside the academia, is that they are highly dense objects; so dense that even light (as particle or as waves) cannot escape it once it falls inside ...
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3answers
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Black holes and positive/negative-energy particles

I was reading Brian Greene's "Hidden Reality" and came to the part about Hawking Radiation. Quantum jitters that occur near the event horizon of a black hole, which create both positive-energy ...
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How do LIGO and Virgo know that a gravitational wave has its origin in a neutron star or a black hole?

It is being said that gravitational-wave detectors are now able to distinguish neutron star waves from those originating from black holes. Two Questions: How do LIGO and Virgo know that a ...
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5answers
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Why is a black hole black?

In general relativity (ignoring Hawking radiation), why is a black hole black? Why nothing, not even light, can escape from inside a black hole? To make the question simpler, say, why is a ...
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What happens when anti-matter falls into a black hole?

Let's say a black hole of mass $M$ and a very compact lump of anti-matter (not a singularity) also of mass $M$ are traveling toward each other. What does an outside observer see when they meet? Will ...
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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 "...
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Can I eat myself into a black hole?

This was a humorous thought experiment that occurred while chatting about black holes. The person that I was talking to assumed that a black hole required a specific density to be achieved. I pointed ...
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4answers
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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) ...
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9answers
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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 "...
35
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1answer
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Why don't merging black holes disprove the no-hair theorem?

The no-hair theorem of black holes says they're completely categorised by their charge and angular momentum and mass. But imagine two black holes colliding. At some point their event horizons would ...
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2answers
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Can a neutron star become a black hole via cooling?

How much does thermal expansion affect neutron stars? Would the loss of temperature cause a neutron star to be more densely packed and thus collapse into a black hole?
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5answers
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Are black holes indistinguishable?

In the standard model of particles it is understood that besides characteristics like momentum, spin, etc., two electrons are indistinguishable. Are two black holes, in the same sense, ...
33
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8answers
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Why singularity in a black hole, and not just “very dense”?

Why does there have to be a singularity in a black hole, and not just a very dense lump of matter of finite size? If there's any such thing as granularity of space, couldn't the "singularity" be just ...
32
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4answers
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How can a black hole reduce the speed of light?

If the speed of light is always constant then light should escape from a black hole because if directed radially outwards it only needs to travel a finite distance to escape, and at a speed of $c$ it ...
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How exactly does time slow down near a black hole?

How exactly does time slow down near a black hole? I have heard this as a possible way of time traveling, and I do understand that it is due in some way to the massive gravity around a black hole, but ...
31
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Did the new image of black hole confirm the general theory of relativity? (M87)

How can we do it just by looking at the image. But I heard in news saying "Einstein was right! black hole image confirms GTR. The image is so less detailed that I can't even make some pretty good ...
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2answers
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Why did the neutron star merger signal last for so much longer than the black hole merger signals?

Just recently, LIGO and Virgo successfully detected new signs of gravitational waves. This time, instead of colliding black holes, it is a pair of colliding neutron stars. This collision emits light ...
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Why was M87 targeted for the Event Horizon Telescope instead of Sagittarius A*?

The first image of a black hole has been released today, April 10th, 2019. The team targeted the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy. Why didn't the team target Sagittarius A* at the center of ...
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Why would a black hole explode?

It is common in popular science culture to assume that Hawking radiation causes black holes to vaporize. And, in the end, the black hole would explode. I also remember it being mentioned in A Brief ...
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8answers
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Why do we care about black hole interiors' physics?

Whatever happens in there is not falsifiable nor provable to the outside. If for (amusing) example the interior consisted of 10^100 Beatles clones playing "Number Nine" backwards, do we know how to ...
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Is there a limit as to how fast a black hole can grow?

Astronomers find ancient black hole 12 billion times the size of the Sun. According to the article above, we observe this supermassive black hole as it was 900 million years after the formation of ...
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3answers
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How does one correctly interpret the behavior of the heat capacity of a charged black hole?

Note: Although I have a provided an "answer" to the question, I did not resolve all the questions in this post satisfactorily. I invite anyone willing and able to provide a better answer, which I ...
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2answers
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Do black holes have a moment of inertia?

My question is in the title: Do black holes have a moment of inertia? I would say that it is: $$I ~\propto~ M R_S^2,$$ where $R_S$ is the Schwarzschild radius, but I cannot find anything in the ...