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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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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 ...
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How does light behave within a black hole's event horizon?

If the event horizon of a black hole is the distance from the center from within which light cannot escape, imagine a person with a flashlight falls into the black hole. He points his flashlight in a ...
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A Theorem Due to Hodge: Hawking/Ellis

This is probably quite an obscure question but hopefully somebody has a simple answer. I'm studying the proof of the topology theorem on black holes due to Hawking and Ellis (Proposition 9.3.2, p. 335 ...
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Are electrons just incompletely evaporated black holes?

Imagine a black hole that is fast-approaching its final exponential throws of Hawking evaporation. Presumably, at all points in this end process there there will remain a region that identifiably ...
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How would a black hole behave in a double slit experiment?

Theoretically we can convert a body into black hole by compressing its mass below some radius (known as Schwarzschild Radius). Suppose such object after becoming black hole has a radius which is ...
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How long can a particle survive inside of the horizon of a black hole?

By examining the causal structure of a Schwarzschild black hole, one can see that a particle in region II is unable to escape to $r=\infty$. Such diagrams do not show, however, how long a particle ...
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Can you ride Hawking radiation away from a black hole?

Suppose you were held by a very strong rope at constant Schwarzchild coordinate $r = 2M (1 + \epsilon)$ just above the event horizon of a Schwarzchild black hole of mass $M$. You would feel a proper ...
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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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What happens when a very large star swallows a small black hole?

I'm speculating here, but it seems obvious that material and energy from the star would rush through the black hole's event horizon very quickly. Could this be enough to reverse the process that ...
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Black hole no-hair theorems vs. entropy and surface area

I was revisiting some old popular science books a while ago and two statements struck me as incompatible. No-hair theorems: a black hole is fully-described by just a few numbers (mass, spin etc) ...
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So Black Holes Actually Merge! In 1/5th of a Second - How?

I've read a lot of conflicting answers in these forums. However, today saw the awesome announcement of gravitational waves. Two black holes merged: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/02/11/...
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Hawking radiation and reversibility

It's often said that, as long as the information that fell into a black hole comes out eventually in the Hawking radiation (by whatever means), pure states remain pure rather than evolving into mixed ...
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Black hole “no hair” theorem

The "no hair" theorem (or conjecture), suggests that black holes can be entirely described by their mass, angular momentum and charge. All other details of the BH formation are lost. Is there a ...
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Are gravastars observationally distinguishable from black holes?

Are observations of Hawking radiation at the acoustic event horizon in Bose-Einstein condensates consistent with gravastars? To reconcile the second law of thermodynamics with the existence of a ...
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Are the masses of merging black holes correlated?

LIGO/VIRGO recently released data on observed "gravitational wave transients", mostly BH-BH mergers. The data includes a plot of the primary and secondary mass (the primary mass is defined as the ...
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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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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 ...
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What happened to the black hole firewall theory?

What happened to the black hole firewall theory? Back in 2012, some physicists apparently came up with strong evidence that one of three things must be wrong for black holes to work the way we thought ...
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Doesn't the Schwarzschild metric combined with Hawking radiation imply that nothing ever gets past the event horizon of a black hole?

According to the General Theory of Relativity, the coordinate time distance per spacetime distance traveled by a particle freely falling into a black hole gets closer and closer to $0$ as the particle ...
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Why is analyticity a good mathematical assumption in general relativity?

In general relativity, real-variable analytic continuation is commonly used to understand spacetimes. For example, we use it to extend the Schwarzschild spacetime to the Kruskal spacetime, and also ...
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What is black hole spin?

First of, congrats to the people at LIGO. In this article, the BBC notes that the latest LIGO results show that a new black hole was formed with a spin of $0.2$ (dimensionless number). What exactly ...
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Gravitational waves from neutron star - neutron star merger

How is neutron star-neutron star merger different from Black Hole-Black Hole merger and what information can be extracted from gravitational waves emitted by these processes?
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If the observable universe were compressed into a super massive black hole, how big would it be?

I understand only a little of general relativity, but that's why I'm here! :) Consider the hypothetical situation of some extra-terrestrial intelligence pushing all the mass in the observable ...
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A Sphere of Black Holes

Imagine a sphere of black holes surrounding a piece of space. Will this piece be separated from the rest of normal spacetime (at least for some time, till these black holes finally attracted ...
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How much of a wave function must reside inside event horizon for it to be consumed by the black hole?

Related to this question in astronomy SE (https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/q/30611/10813) and in particular my attempt to answer it, I started to wonder which fraction of a waveform (for eg a ...
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Can black holes actually merge?

If time stops at the event horizon, can we ever detect two black holes merging? In other words, if you are a short distance away, would you encounter a spherically symmetric gravitational field, or a ...
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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 ...
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What does the equivalence principle mean in quantum cases?

We know that electron trapped by nuclear, like the hydrogen system, is described by quantum state,and never fall to the nuclear. So is there any similar situation in the case of electron near the ...
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Will an object always fall at an infinite speed in a black hole? [duplicate]

Most of you if not everybody will agree that the stronger the gravitational pull, the faster an object will fall. For example, on a planet with 50 times the gravity of Earth, any object will hit the ...
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Why is information “lost” when it got into a black hole?

The black hole information loss paradox is the paradox that information can not be lost, but is lost when it got into a black hole. But I do not see why it is lost at all. I see it is no longer ...
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Isn't gravity non-local and non-causal?

The way I think of this is that, I can ask physical questions about a space-time which are impossible to answer unless one knows the full space-time, and hence I am inclined to believe that gravity is ...
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Information Retrieval

This question is motivated by the issue of information retrieval from black holes, but it is essentially a question about quantum information. It is widely believed (in certain circles) that the ...
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Black hole with two singularities?

I hope this question isn't too naive, but would it theoretically be possible to have a black hole with 2 singularities (or 2 black holes at the same location). If this is possible, would there be any ...
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Why couldn't they take pictures of a closer black hole?

The latest photos of the M87 black hole capture light from around a black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, which is 16.4 Mpc ($5.06 \times 10^{20}$km) from our milky way. Why couldn't / ...
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Why can a neutron star implode? [duplicate]

In a book* I was reading, it said that a neutron star is formed when the pressure is so large that the electrons in a white dwarf interact with the protons, forming neutrons. The neutrons then ...
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Are black holes really singularities?

A popular assumption about black holes is that their gravity grows beyond any limit so it beats all repulsive forces and the matter collapses into a singularity. Is there any evidence for this ...
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Why do larger black holes emit less Hawking Radiation than smaller black holes?

Pedestrian question from a non-physicist: I read on Wikipedia that larger black holes emit less net Hawking radiation than smaller black holes. This seems counterintuitive to me. If black holes are ...
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Has the black hole information loss paradox been settled?

This question was triggered by a comment of Peter Shor's (he is a skeptic, it seems.) I thought that the holographic principle and AdS/CFT dealt with that, and was enough for Hawking to give John ...
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Is it possible for one black hole to pull an object out of another black hole?

Suppose we have a spacecraft just inside the event horizon of a black hole, struggling to escape, but slowly receding into it. Another (bigger) black hole expands until its event horizon includes the ...
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If two ultra-relativistic billiard balls just miss, will they still form a black hole?

This forum seems to agree that a billiard ball accellerated to ultra-relativistic speeds does not turn into a black hole. (See recent question "If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of ...
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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 ...
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Is the observable region of the universe within the event horizon of a super-massive black hole?

Observations: I have read that for a free-falling observer within the event horizon of a black hole that all lines of sight will end at the singularity which is black. I also look up and see that the ...
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How many bits are encoded on the surface of the smallest black hole?

Here's my guess ($157\, \textrm{bits}$) and how I got there. Please feel free to disregard completely and give your own answer. My understanding (please correct any wrong assumptions as there may be ...
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If a Kerr-Newman black hole is like a charged, spinning, heavy magnet, what kind of magnet is it like?

I was reading up on De Sitter spaces, which states that the gravitational effects from a black hole is indistinguishable from any other spherically symmetric mass distribution. This makes a lot of ...
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Can a massive object have an escape velocity close to $c$ and not become a black hole?

It is well-documented that a given body has a well-defined Schwarzschild radius, defining a minimum radius for its volume, given its mass, before it becomes a black hole. It is clearly true, also, ...
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Why don't the black holes appear black in color in images of galaxies taken from HST?

According to NASA a black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area According to the documentary Space Unraveling The Cosmos about ...
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Is there something wrong with this numerical simulation of Schwarzschild photon orbits?

This is a follow-up question to the answer given at What is the exact gravitational force between two masses including relativistic effects?. Unfortunately the author hasn't been online for a few ...
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Can we have a black hole without a singularity?

Assuming we have a sufficiently small and massive object such that it's escape velocity is greater than the speed of light, isn't this a black hole? It has an event horizon that light cannot escape, ...
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How can a singularity in a black hole rotate if it's just a point?

I guess nobody really knows the true nature of black holes, however, based on everything I know about black holes, there is a "singularity" at their center, which has finite mass but is infinitely ...
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Thought Experiment - Poking a stick across a Black Hole's Event Horizon

The classical explanation of a black hole says that if you get to close, you reach a point - the event horizon radius - from which you cannot escape even travelling at the speed of light. Then they ...