Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
28
votes
4answers
5k views

Are black holes perfect spheroids?

What I know about black holes (correct me if I'm wrong) is that they are the most compact objects in the universe that have been discovered. Due to all that gravity, wouldn't black holes be a perfect ...
28
votes
4answers
4k views

Could the black hole in the center of the galaxy be a white hole?

In the center of the galaxy there is a strong radio source which we call Sagittarius A*. Based on the high speed and orbit of nearby stars we have calculated that something with the mass of more than ...
28
votes
5answers
5k views

Why can't you escape a black hole?

I understand that the event horizon of a black hole forms at the radius from the singularity where the escape velocity is c. But it's also true that you don't have to go escape velocity to escape an ...
28
votes
2answers
22k views

How would a black hole power plant work?

A black hole power plant (BHPP) is something I'll define here as a machine that uses a black hole to convert mass into energy for useful work. As such, it constitutes the 3rd kind of matter-energy ...
28
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a way to split a black hole?

Classically, black holes can merge, becoming a single black hole with an horizon area greater than the sum of both merged components. Is it thermodynamically / statistically possible to split a black ...
27
votes
3answers
13k views

If iron can’t undergo fusion, does that mean a black hole is mostly iron?

Since stellar fusion can’t progress beyond iron, and a large enough star collapsed into a black hole because an iron core stalled fusion, wouldn’t that mean all black holes are predominantly iron?
27
votes
4answers
6k views

What does this depiction of a black hole in the movie Interstellar mean?

I was expecting a whirlpool in 3D and the matter glowing from friction as it nears the center, as I expected a event horizon to be negligible visually. How does this depiction work? How big is the ...
27
votes
2answers
5k views

An explanation of Hawking Radiation

Could someone please provide an explanation for the origin of Hawking Radiation? (Ideally someone who I have been speaking with on the h-bar) Any advanced maths beyond basic calculus will most ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Detection of the Electric Charge of a Black Hole

By the "No Hair Theorem", three quantities "define" a black hole; Mass, Angular Momentum, and Charge. The first is easy enough to determine, look at the radius of the event horizon and you can use the ...
26
votes
5answers
14k views

How to get Planck length

I know that what Planck length equals to. The first question is, how do you get the formula $$\ell_P~=~\sqrt\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}$$ that describes the Planck length? The second question is, will any ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

Throwing a micro black hole into the sun: does it collapse into a black hole or does it result in a supernova?

What do we know about accretion rates of micro black holes? Suppose a relative small black hole (mass about $10^9$ kilograms) would be thrown into the sun. Eventually this black hole will swallow all ...
26
votes
1answer
948 views

Overcharging a black hole

Hubeny's 1998 paper got a lot of people interested in determining whether cosmic censorship can be violated by dropping too much charge onto a black hole. It suggested that you might be able to get a ...
25
votes
6answers
24k views

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 ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

Do all massive bodies emit Hawking or Unruh radiation?

It is known that any accelerated observer is subject to a heat bath due to Unruh radiation. The principle of equivalence suggests that any stationary observer on the surface of a massive body should ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Will the black hole size increase?

I was thinking about the following thought experiment, but wasn't sure about its outcome. Suppose there is a black-hole and I enter it with a partitioned box containing two different gases on either ...
24
votes
2answers
852 views

Does the Black Hole Information Paradox apply to nonstationary black holes?

When I first heard about the black hole information paradox, I thought it had no content. At the time, papers about it had been written for numerous years and they keep on coming. Now that the press ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

If a black hole is created from light, can this black hole then move at the speed of light?

Imagine we managed to squeeze light into a very tiny region of space so that the energy concentration at that point becomes a black hole. Can this black hole then move at the speed of light?
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Do black holes have Arago spots?

I've been reading about Arago spots and the Aragoscope. Some fascinating concepts! Basically, due to wave diffraction, there is a bright spot in the centre of the shadow behind any circular object. ...
23
votes
7answers
4k views

Can matter really fall through an event horizon?

This question is closely related to Event horizons without singularities from about a year ago (May 2012), which John Rennie answered nicely and persuasively. My variant of the question is this: ...
23
votes
4answers
773 views

What would happen if somebody dropped a small black hole into the Earth?

Suppose we drop a small black hole, but large enough that it accumulates mass more quickly than it radiates it, into the Earth. What happens? This question has already been asked here and here, but ...
23
votes
1answer
709 views
+50

How is the logarithmic correction to the entropy of a non extremal black hole derived?

I`ve just read, that for non extremal black holes, there exists a logarithmic (and other) correction(s) to the well known term proportional to the area of the horizon such that $S = \frac{A}{4G} + K ...
22
votes
7answers
3k views

Given that matter cannot escape a black hole, how did the big bang produce the universe we see today?

Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. If the matter contained within our ...
22
votes
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 ...
22
votes
6answers
11k views

What is Hawking radiation and how does it cause a black hole to evaporate?

My understanding is that Hawking radiation isn't really radiated from a black hole, but rather occurs when a particle anti-particle pair spontaneously pop into existence, and before they can ...
22
votes
2answers
958 views

Does a charged or rotating black hole change the genus of spacetime?

For a Reissner–Nordström or Kerr black hole there is an analytic continuation through the event horizon and back out. Assuming this is physically meaningful (various site members hereabouts think not!)...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

Euclidean derivation of the black hole temperature; conical singularities

I am studying the derivation of the black hole temperature by means of the Euclidean approach, i.e. by Wick rotating, compactifying the Euclidean time and identifying the period with the inverse ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Can an object tethered to a spaceship be pulled out of event horizon? [duplicate]

An object cannot escape the event horizon by catapulting it outside the black hole. However, what if instead of relying on escape velocity, the object was tethered to a ship orbiting well outside the ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

Direct observations of a black hole?

I'm not very knowledgeable about physics generally, but know that nothing can escape a black hole's gravitational pull, not even light (making them nearly invisible?). My question is: What has been ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

How does the Pauli exclusion principle create a force in degenerate matter?

My understanding is that when it comes to forming a white dwarf, it is the electron degeneracy pressure, due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, preventing collapse in of the white dwarf. If the ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Why exactly are singularities avoided or “deleted” in physics?

What is the real reason that make us reject singularities everytime we see them in a theory/model? For example, in GR, it is predicted that black holes singularities have infinite density. This makes ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

How do we know the Schwarzschild solution contains an object of mass $M$?

The Schwarzschild metric is $$ds^2 = - \left( 1 - \frac{2GM}{r} \right) dt^2 + \left(1-\frac{2GM}{r}\right)^{-1} dr^2 + r^2 d\Omega^2.$$ In all GR books, it is stated that $M$ is the mass of the black ...
21
votes
5answers
6k views

Why can't dark matter be black holes?

Since 90 % of matter is what we cannot see, why can't it be black-holes from early on? Is is possible to figure out that there are no black holes in the line of sight of various stars/galaxies we ...
21
votes
5answers
39k views

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 ...
21
votes
2answers
9k views

How can Quasars emit anything if they're black holes?

We've heard it many times, nothing can escape the gravity of a black hole, even light once it's past the event horizon. If this is true, how can a black hole emit anything? Quasars are massive black ...
20
votes
6answers
58k views

What is exactly the density of a black hole and how can it be calculated?

How do scientists calculate that density? What data do they have to calculate that?
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a black hole be formed by electromagnetic radiation?

I'm trying to find out if black holes could be created by focusing enough light into a small enough volume. So far I have found (any or all may be incorrect): Maxwell's equations are linear, ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Chasing someone who has fallen into a black hole

Assume that my friend and I decided to explore a black hole. I parked the spaceship in a circular orbit safely away from the horizon. He puts on his spacesuit with a jet pack and carefully travels ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How close would you have to be to the merger of two black holes, for the effects of gravitational waves to be detected without instruments?

Assume two black holes in the most common size range, spiraling into each other until they merge. The event releases significant amounts of energy via gravitational waves, which warp the space-time. ...
20
votes
8answers
3k views

How precisely does a star collapse into a black hole?

I think we all heard general statements like "once big enough star burns out there is nothing to prevent the gravitational collapse ending in a black hole". But I can't remember even seeing the ...
20
votes
2answers
605 views

Curvature Invariants in General Relativity and Singularities

Suppose that I want to check if a given metric is singular or not. I'm interested in curvature singularities, not coordinate singularities, so I can look to scalars made with Ricci, Riemann and Weyl ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Why does a star collapse under its own gravity when the gravity at its centre is zero?

The gravity at the centre of a star is zero as in the case of any uniform solid sphere with some mass. When a massive star dies, why does it give rise to a black hole at it's centre? I know how to ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can't a nucleus become a black hole?

A nucleus is very small and very dense. Its density is approximately $2.3 \times 10^{17}~\mathrm{kg/m^3}.$ So why can't a nucleus itself become a black hole?
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Do black holes violate the first law of thermodynamics?

When a black hole absorbs matter is it destroying that mass, thereby destroying energy, therefore violating the first law of thermodynamics?
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What was the entropy of the universe at the time of the Big Bang?

(I asked this question in Philosophy.SE; but I was advised to direct it here, despite it is, in my opinion, somewhat too speculative for physics.SE). High entropy generally means high disorder; and ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Why did the universe not collapse to a black hole shortly after the big bang?

Wasn't the density of the universe at the moment after the Big Bang so great as to create a black hole? If the answer is that the universe/space-time can expand anyway what does it imply about what ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Intuitively, why do attempts to delay hitting a black hole singularity cause you to reach it faster?

In general relativity, proper time is maximized along geodesics. Inside of a black hole, all future-oriented timelike trajectories end at the singularity. Putting these two facts together, we find ...
19
votes
3answers
8k views

Can space be torn?

If space is warped by objects in space, and black holes are made of infinitely heavy objects, can space be torn by black holes?
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Electromagnetic black hole?

So I was thinking about something for the past while Consider a large spherical foam-ball with homogeneous density. Where a foam ball is defined as an object that can absorb matter with 0 friction (...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Does light really travel more slowly near a massive body?

It is a routine problem for beginners in general relativity to calculate the coordinate velocity of light for the Schwarzschild metric. Starting from the metric: $$ ds^2 = -\left(1-\frac{r_s}{r}\...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a black hole form due to Lorentz contraction? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of light would it turn into a black hole? Imagine, a rod of length L is moving with velocity approaching the speed of light ...