Questions tagged [singularities]

Use this tag for questions about singularities in physical quantities, i.e. cases where a quantity becomes or appears to become infinite or ill-defined. Consider the more specific tags [tag:black-holes] and [tag:wormholes] for certain kinds of singularities occuring in [tag:general-relativity]. For the procedure of "getting rid" of singularities, consider [tag:regularization].

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7
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2k views

Is a black hole singularity a single point?

General relativity is expressed in terms of differential geometry, which allows you to do interesting things with the coordinates: multiple coordinates may refer to a single point, eg. the ...
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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 "...
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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 ...
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How can something finite become infinite?

How can the universe become infinite in spatial extent if it started as a singularity, wouldn't it take infinite time to expand into an infinite universe?
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6answers
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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 ...
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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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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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What is the definition of a timelike and spacelike singularity?

What is the definition of a timelike and spacelike singularity? Trying to find, but haven't yet, what the definitions are.
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When does a singularity start to exist during a black hole formation?

Excuse me if the question is naïve. I am not a physicist. Let's imagine formation of a black hole from a homogeneous collapsing star. At certain moment when enough of matter is inside of a small ...
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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 ...
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6answers
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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?
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Fighting a black hole: Could a strong spherical shell inside an event horizon resist falling in to the singularity?

As a thought experiment imagine an incredibly strong spherical shell with a diameter a bit smaller than the event horizon of a particular large black hole. The shell is split into two hemispheres, ...
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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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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 ...
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Am I missing a trick to solving a 3D potential well problem?

I was playing around with a 3-D potential $V$ such that $V_{(r)} = 0$ for $r<a$, and $V_{(r)} = V_0>0$ otherwise. By using the Schrödinger Equation, I showed that: $$\frac{-\hbar}{2m}\frac{1}{r^...
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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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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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Do singularities have a “real” as opposed to mathematical or idealized existence?

I was thinking of, for example a Schwarzchild metric at r=0, i.e. the gravitational singularity, a point of infinite density. I realise that there are different types of singularities--timelike, ...
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What happens when a black hole dies?

Does it just vanish into space leaving nothing behind or does it expel some material? Also, talking more about black holes, as far as I understand the term "temperature", it is defined by the ...
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1answer
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Why is matter drawn into a black hole not condensed into a single point within the singularity?

When we speak of black holes and their associated singularity, why is matter drawn into a black hole not condensed into a single point within the singularity?
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Tension in a curved charged wire (electrostatic force) - does wire thickness matter?

Consider a conducting wire bent in a circle (alternatively, a perfectly smooth metal ring) with a positive (or negative) electric charge on it. Technically, this shape constitutes a torus. Assume ...
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How does quantization solve the ultraviolet catastrophe?

I understand how classical physics leads to the UV catastrophe. But I cannot understand how quantization solves it. How can quantization prevent the body from radiating a lot of energy? I know this ...
6
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1answer
911 views

What happens if you let a cable roll slip into a black hole?

Does the cable roll spin faster the more cable goes into the black hole in reference of a observer standing next to it? Can gravity pull the cable that it exceed the speed of light inside a black hole ...
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What happens to light and mass in the center of a black hole?

I know that black holes are "black" because nothing can escape it due to the massive gravity, but I am wondering if there are any theories as to what happens to the light or mass that enters a black ...
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Was the singularity at Big Bang perfectly uniform and if so, why did the universe lose its uniformity?

Am I right in understanding that current theory states that Big Bang originated from a single point of singularity? If so, would this mean that this was a uniform point? If so, as the universe ...
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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 ...
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What is the shape of a black hole?

I was thinking; what shape does a black hole have?. By 'Shape', I mean its form (e.g, circle , cylinder, sphere, torus, etc..). We usually think of black holes as if they're plugholes (e.g, a flat ...
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1answer
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Experimental boundaries for size of electron?

There is some confidence that electron is a perfect point e.g. to simplify QFT calculations. However, searching for experimental evidence (stack), Wikipedia article only points argument based on g-...
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An electron falling into a black hole

If an electron falls into a black hole. How can the Heisenberg uncertainty principle hold? The electron has fallen into the singularity now so it has a well defined position which means that it doesn'...
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Can two electrons never touch each other?

The Coulomb's force is given by $$ F = {k q^2 \over r^2} $$ When $ r \rightarrow 0 $, $ F \rightarrow \infty $ Does this mean two electrons never touch each other?
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Is it possible to have a singularity with zero mass?

A singularity, by the definition I know, is a point in space with infinite of a property such as density. Density is Mass/Volume. Since the volume of a singularity is 0, then the density will thus ...
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Radial Schrodinger equation with inverse power law potential

Recently I read a paper about solving radial Schrodinger equation with inverse power law potential. Consider the radial Schrodinger equation(simply set $\mu=\hbar=1$): $$\left(-\frac{1}{2}\Delta+V(\...
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3answers
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When are infinities okay?

I'm a little confused about how to handle infinities in physics. On the one hand, I always here things like infinities are not physically tenable answers. GR can't answer anything about the origin of ...
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Why are S-state solutions of Dirac equation for hydrogen atom allowed to be unbounded?

In this Wikipedia page there's a statement about 1S orbital as solved from Dirac equation: Note that $\gamma$ is a little less than $1$, so the top function is similar to an exponentially ...
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What happens with the force of gravity when the distance between two objects is 0?

so I had my first approximation to the gravity equation \begin{equation} F=GmM/r^2 \end{equation} and some questions arose that my teacher couldnt respond: if r approximates to 0 with mM being ...
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Is there a consensus on the fate of our universe?

We all know that our universe is inflating from what is known as the Big Bang. However, will our universe continue to inflate at the current rate? Or after reaching a maximum size, will it collapse in ...
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2answers
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What kind of matter are black holes made of?

Imagine a black hole originally formed from, for example, Rubidium atoms. On the other hand, one made from, for example, Helium atoms. Will it be there any difference between the two? Or perhaps once ...
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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 ...
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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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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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6answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Can anyone please explain Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems and geodesic incompleteness?

Can anyone please explain Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems and geodesic incompleteness? In easy to understand plain English please.
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Infinities in Newtons law of gravity (for point particles)

Newtons law of gravity for two particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$ is: $G\frac{m_1.m_2}{r^2}$. Supposing that the particles are point particles then gravitional attraction will bring them closer ...
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1answer
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At what moment will matter falling into a black hole affect its size?

Does the mass of matter falling into a black hole affect the size of an event horizon the moment it passes through it, or when it has been incorporated into the singularity?
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Where does matter go after reaching singularity in uncharged black holes?

I am a layman in physics and just read about black holes on the internet. I read that matter encounters geodesic incompleteness in the singularity in an uncharged black hole. I heard an analogy of ...
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Weyl anomaly in 2d CFT (string theory lectures by D.Tong)

In his lectures on String Theory (http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/string.html), Tong gives a proof of the Weyl anomaly, using equation $(4.36)$. It seems wrong to me. Here he uses the OPE ...
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1answer
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What happens to light that falls into a black hole?

When light enters a black hole, what happens to it? I imagine the photons will either fall into the singularity, or the light will orbit just inside the event horizon indefinitely. (Some background ...
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What happens to a photon in a black hole?

Assume a photon enters the event horizon of a black hole. The gravity of the black hole will draw the photon into the singularity eventually. Doesn't the photon come to rest and therefore lose it's ...
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Why is there a sudden change in current between $t=0^{-}$ and $t=0^{+}$ when an active inductor is connected in series with a relaxed inductor?

Let us take the following question as an example: For the above question I drew the corresponding Laplace transform diagram, as follows (didn't draw the switch since it basically open circuit after $...
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How come some people are claiming that the Big Bang never happened?

A news story is going viral on social media networks claiming that two physicists have found a way to eliminate the Big Bang singularity, or in layman's terms (as claimed by many sensationalist news ...