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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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32
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7answers
236k views

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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Why is BTZ black hole asymptotically $AdS_3$?

The metric for the BTZ black hole is $ds^2=-N^2dt^2+N^{-2}dr^2+r^2(N^\phi dt +d\phi)^2$ where $N^2=-M+\frac{r^2}{l^2}+\frac{J^2}{4r^2}$ and $N^\phi=-\frac{J}{2r^2}$. It is often said that BTZ black ...
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3answers
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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 ...
18
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5answers
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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
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1answer
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Why isn't black hole information loss this easy (am I missing something basic)?

Ok, so on Science channel was a special about Hawking/Susskind debating black holes, which can somehow remove information from the universe. A) In stars, fusion converts 4 hydrogen into 1 helium, ...
9
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3answers
490 views

Collision of charged black holes

Suppose there are two charged black holes which collide to form a bigger black hole. But when they combine, a lot of potential energy of the system is lost/gained depending on their charges (the ...
6
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2answers
359 views

Hayden-Preskill informational mirrors and decryption

I do have a question about an assumption made in the very interesting Hayden-Preskill paper of black holes as informational mirrors. Alice throws her top secret quantum diary which is $k$ qubits long ...
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2answers
326 views

Primordial Black Hole Detection

There's ample direct evidence for the existence of galactic and stellar mass black holes. However, there is no such direct evidence of primordial black holes, those formed after the Big Bang. A recent ...
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6answers
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How can a black hole emit X-rays?

Considering that a black hole's gravity prevents light from escaping, how can a black hole emit X-rays? Visible light and X-rays are both electromagnetic radiation, shouldn't the black hole's gravity ...
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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 ...
6
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2answers
337 views

How can one reconcile the temperature of a black hole with asymptotic flatness?

A stationary observer very close to the horizon of a black hole is immersed in a thermal bath of temperature that diverges as the horizon is approached. $$T^{-1} = 4\pi \sqrt{2M(r-2M)}$$ The ...
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1answer
292 views

Are black hole states completely mixed?

A completely mixed state is a statistical mixture with no interference terms, and (QMD, McMahon, pg 229): $$\rho = \dfrac{1}{n}I$$ $$Tr(\rho^2) = \dfrac{1}{n}$$ Are black hole quantum states ...
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3answers
234 views

What is the strange event in this simulation of a galactic collision?

I was watching this video on YouTube: 2 Spiral Galaxies w/Supermassive Black Holes Collide Around half way, and again almost at the end, the black holes seem to suddenly give off some sort of force ...
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1answer
926 views

Has Cosmological Natural Selection been disproved?

I've been reading Lee Smolin's Life of the Cosmos. Great book and it makes a lot of sense that the conditions in black holes are the same as conditions at the big bang. Question is, has his theory ...
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3answers
417 views

Incommensurability between different observers describing the same universe?

According to black hole complementarity, if there is a black hole and Alice falls into it carrying a qubit, but Bob stays out, then Alice can measure the qubit inside the black hole, and confirm it ...
4
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1answer
243 views

Please justify invoking logical positivism to causal patches and black hole interiors in quantum gravity! [closed]

Logical positivism is often invoked to explain why external observers can't talk about black hole interiors, or why we can't talk about what happens outside our causal patch in inflationary models. ...
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1answer
411 views

Charges and Topology

I must apologize, I was a little bit excited when I began understanding some of this, I can not say I can compete with professionals, and words are still difficult concepts. In (1) S.H. et al. it is ...
9
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2answers
1k views

On black holes, Hawking radiation and gravitational atoms

Over the past hour or so I've been following one of my standard physics-based, wanders-through-the-internet. Specifically, I began by reviewing some details of dark energy theory but soon found myself ...
5
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3answers
427 views

How close can two extremal black holes with the same charge can get?

Here's a puzzle I have been pondering over. If we have two extremal black holes with the same charge, the electrostatic repulsion between them ought to cancel the gravitational attraction between ...
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2answers
331 views

Can the equivalence principle be tested to high precision in a human-sized lab falling through the horizon of a black hole, in principle?

Can the equivalence principle be tested to high precision in a human-sized lab falling through the horizon of a black hole, in principle? By "human-sized lab" I mean a lab the size of the ...
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2answers
385 views

Do all of our discoveries of black holes in nature depend on the validity of GR?

In the question Is there a black hole in the centre of the Milky Way? the answer by Motl seems to all but say the existence of that black hole is a fact (see also Evidence for black hole event ...
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Can colliding gravitational waves create a black hole?

Whether gravitational waves are real or just a coordinate freedom was argued in the early days of GR. Eventually the conclusion was that they were real. And if they are 'real' then I'm curious if... ...
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3answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
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Time dilation when falling into black hole

I know that if one astronaut falls into a black hole, then a distant observer will see him take an infinite amount of time to reach the event horizon (provided the observer can see light of ...
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2answers
548 views

Black Holes and Energy Conservation

A supernova's Ni/Fe core remnant with mass exceeding about three solar masses would result in a black hole. Although the core's temperature was in the ~1E10K range, the black hole temperature based on ...
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5answers
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Why can't light escape from a classical black hole?

Photons do not have (rest) mass (that's why they can move at speed of "light"). So, my question is how the gravity of classical$^1$ black hole can stop light from escaping? -- $^1$ We ignore ...
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2answers
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Strongest force in nature

Possible Duplicate: What does it mean to say “Gravity is the weakest of the forces”? It is said nuclear force is the strongest force in nature.. But it is not true near a black hole ...
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242 views

Can a trapped surface be formed by a mass configuration outside of that trapped surface?

Can a trapped surface be formed without any massive bodies inside that trapped surface, but only by a configuration of massive bodies surrounding the trapped volume?
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1answer
237 views

How much of a star falls into a black hole?

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/04/05/astronomers-may-have-witnessed-a-star-torn-apart-by-a-black-hole/ A lot of the star in the disc, a lot of the star in the jets, precisely how ...
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2answers
7k views

How long does it take a black hole to eat a star?

I presume the answer is that it depends on the mass and size of the star and black hole and how they approach either other, but I was wondering if somebody could provide some rough bounds (e.g. hours ...
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2answers
810 views

Are black holes really that special?

Science and science fiction alikeScience fiction describes black holes as these amazingly different entities in space that don't behave according to the same laws of physics that the rest of the ...
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2answers
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Hawking's alternative to Higgs Boson

I have seen in popular media, claims that Hawking does not believe the Higgs boson exists due to microscopic black holes and even made a bet against it. This is based on something published in ...
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3answers
789 views

How can you tell if a critical energy density is actually a black hole?

Here's a question inspired by Edward's answer to this question. It's my understanding that the average energy density of a black hole in its rest frame is $\rho_\text{BH}(A)$, a function of surface ...
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1answer
1k views

If the Sun were to suddenly become a black hole of the same mass, what would the orbital periods of the planets be?

I am interested in theoretical and practical considerations.
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3answers
2k views

No hair theorem for black holes and the baryon number

The no hair theorem says that a black hole can be characterized by a small number of parameters that are visible from distance - mass, angular momentum and electric charge. For me it is puzzling why ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it mathematically possible for a black hole to be connected to a white hole or a worm hole?

I know that there's no evidence at this point for "white holes" however would it even be mathematically possible for a black hole to be connected to a white hole (total opposite so everything would be ...
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6answers
1k views

What prevents the accumulation of charge in a black hole?

What prevents a static black hole from accumulating more charge than its maximum? Is it just simple Coulomb repulsion? Is the answer the same for rotating black holes? Edit What I understand from ...
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1answer
629 views

Gravitational redshift of virtual photons

There is well known gravitational redshift of real photons. What about gravitational redshift of virtual photons of charged neutron star? Is electrostatic force become weaker while mass of ...
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9answers
3k views

How does this thought experiment not rule out black holes?

How does the following brief thought experiment fail to show that general relativity (GR) has a major problem in regards to black holes? The full thought experiment is in my blog post. The post ...
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5answers
2k views

Are elementary particles ultimate fate of black holes?

From the "no hair theorem" we know that black holes have only 3 characteristic external observables, mass, electric charge and angular momentum (except the possible exceptions in the higher ...
4
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3answers
398 views

It is possible to extract energy from black holes or..satellites?

When something falls down, potential energy is transformed into kinetic one. Furthermore, you can attach a pulley and extract some energy (like in an aljibe), for example with a dynamo... If the ...
18
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7answers
14k views

How can super massive black holes have a lower density than water?

I heard on a podcast recently that the supermassive black holes at the centre of some galaxies could have densities less than water, so in theory, they could float on the substance they were gobbling ...
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3answers
2k views

Light bending by black holes

In the center of our milky way, it is assumed that a black hole exists with a mass of $\approx 4\times 10^6$ times our sun's mass. How much light bending (in degrees) would arise for stars that are in ...
18
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3answers
2k views

What happens when a black hole and an “anti-black-hole” collide?

Let's say we have one black hole that formed through the collapse of hydrogen gas and another that formed through the collapse of anti-hydrogen gas. What happens when they collide? Do they (1) ...
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3answers
432 views

Information about an expanding event horizon

Assume an observer sent a beam of photons close to an event horizon, say at some distance x (a distance far enough to avoid the photons falling in.) This light would still be observable, albeit red ...
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2answers
1k views

Black Hole Singularity and String Theory

This question arises in a somewhat naive form because I am largely unfamiliar with String Theory. I do know that it incorporates higher space dimensions where I shall take the overall dimensionality ...
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10answers
9k views

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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3answers
1k views

Black holes in a head-on collision

Assume two uncharged non-rotating black holes traveling straight at each other with no outside forces acting on the system. What is thought to happen to the kinetic energy of these two masses when ...
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2answers
1k views

Black hole analog experiment?

This question is directed mostly at people giving lectures on black holes, but input by other physicists or students is very much appreciated. Do you know a good (home)-experiment with a black hole ...