10 facts about black holes that everyone should know

Black holes are perhaps the most mysterious objects in the Universe. Unless, of course, somewhere in the depths of the not hiding things, the existence of which we do not know and can not know that is unlikely. Black holes are the enormous mass and density, compressed into a single point with a small radius. The physical properties of these objects are so strange that force you to wrestle with the most experienced physicists and astrophysicists. Sabine Hassinger, a theoretical physicist, made a selection of ten facts about black holes that everyone should know.

What is a black hole?

The defining property of a black hole is its horizon. This is the boundary breaking which nothing, not even light, can return. If the separated region becomes separated forever, we’re talking about “event horizon”. If it is only temporarily separated, we are talking about the “visible horizon”. But it “temporarily” can also mean that the area will be separated for much longer than the current age of the Universe. If the horizon of a black hole is a temporary but long-lived, the difference between the first and second spreads.

How big are black holes?

You can imagine the horizon of a black hole as a sphere, and its diameter is directly proportional to the mass of the black hole. Therefore, the more mass falls into a black hole, the more it becomes a black hole. Compared to stellar objects, however, tiny black holes because the mass is compressed into a very small volume under the action of irresistible gravitational pressure. The radius of the black hole mass with the planet Earth, for example, only a few millimeters. This is 10 000 000 000 times smaller than the present radius of the Earth.

The radius of a black hole is called the Schwarzschild radius, in honor of Karl Schwarzschild, who first brought black holes as a solution to the General theory of relativity.

What happens at the horizon?

When you cross the horizon around you nothing happens. All because of the Einstein equivalence principle, which implies that it is impossible to tell the difference between acceleration in a flat space and the gravitational field that creates the curvature of space. However, an observer far from the black hole that is watching someone else falling in, you will notice that people will move more and more slowly, approaching the horizon. If time near the event horizon is moving slower than away from the horizon. However, it will take some time, and falling into the hole, the observer will cross the event horizon and will be inside the Schwarzschild radius.

What you are experiencing on the horizon depends on the tidal forces of the gravitational field. Tidal forces on the horizon is inversely proportional to the square of the mass of the black hole. This means that the larger and more massive the black hole, the less power. And if the black hole is massive enough, you can overcome the horizon before will notice that something is happening. The effect of these tidal forces will stretch you: the technical term for this use of physics is called “spaghettification”.

In the early days of General relativity it was believed that on the horizon there is a singularity, but this was not the case.

What’s inside a black hole?

No one knows for sure, but definitely not a bookshelf. General relativity predicts that a black hole singularity, the place where tidal forces become infinitely large, and once you cross the event horizon, you can’t get anywhere else except at the singularity. Accordingly, the GTR is better not to use these places — it simply does not work. To say what happens inside a black hole, we need a theory of quantum gravity. It is generally accepted that this theory replaces the singularity with something else.

The structure of black holes?

Currently we know of four different ways of forming black holes. We understand the best associated with stellar collapse. A big enough star to form a black hole after its nuclear fusion stops, because all that can already be synthesized, was synthesized. When the pressure created by the synthesis is terminated, the substance begins to fall to its own centre of gravity, becoming more dense. In the end, it is so compacted that nothing can overcome the gravitational effect on the stellar surface: this is a black hole. These black holes are called “black holes solar mass” and are the most common.

The next common type of black holes are “supermassive black holes”, which can be found in the centers of many galaxies and have masses about a billion times more than black holes of solar mass. While it is not known how they are formed. It is believed that they began as a black hole of solar mass, which in the densely populated galactic centers have absorbed a lot of other stars and grew. However, they seem to absorb material faster, what is this simple idea, and exactly how they do it — is still the subject of research.

A more controversial idea became the primary black holes, which could be formed in almost any ground in the large density fluctuations in the early Universe. Although possible, it is difficult to find the model that produces them, without creating an excessive number of them.

Finally, there is a very speculative idea that the Large hadron Collider might form tiny black holes with masses close to the mass of the Higgs boson. This only works if our Universe has additional dimensions. While there was no evidence in favor of this theory.

How do we know black holes exist?

We have lots of observational evidence for the existence of compact objects with large masses, which do not emit light. These objects present themselves in the gravitational pull of, for example, due to the motion of other stars or gas clouds around them. They also create gravitational lensing. We know that these objects have no solid surface. This follows from the observation, because the substance, falling on the object surface, must cause the emission of a larger number of particles than the substance falling through the horizon.

Why, last year, Hawking said that black holes don’t exist?

It meant that black holes are not eternal event horizon, but only a temporary apparent horizon (see first paragraph). In a strict sense, only the event horizon of the considered black hole.

How black holes emit radiation?

Black holes emit radiation due to quantum effects. It is important to note that quantum effects of matter, not quantum effects of gravity. Dynamic space-time collapsing of a black hole changes the very definition of a particle. Like time is distorted near a black hole, the concept of particles is too dependent on the observer. In particular, when the observer falling into the black hole, thinks falling in a vacuum, an observer far from the black hole thinks it’s not vacuum, but full particle space. It is the stretching of space-time causes this effect.

First discovered by Stephen Hawking, the black hole emitted radiation is called “Hawking radiation”. This radiation has a temperature, is inversely proportional to the mass of the black hole the smaller the black hole, the higher the temperature. From stellar and supermassive black holes that we know the temperature significantly below the temperature of the microwave background and so is not observed.

What is the information paradox?

The paradox of information loss due to Hawking radiation. This radiation is purely thermal, that is by accident and of certain properties is only temperature. Radiation itself does not contain any information about the formed black hole. But when the black hole emits radiation, it loses mass and contracts. All this is totally independent from the substance, which became part of the black hole or from which it was formed. It turns out, knowing only the final state of evaporation is not to say, of what formed the black hole. This process is “irreversible” — and the snag is that in quantum mechanics there is no such process.

It turns out that the evaporation of black holes are incompatible with quantum theory, known to us, and we need to do something. Somehow to reconcile the. Most physicists believe that the decision is that the Hawking radiation must somehow contain information.

What does the Hawking for solving the information paradox of a black hole?

The idea is that black holes should be a way to store information, which is still not accepted. Information stored on the horizon of a black hole and may cause the tiny displacement of particles in the Hawking radiation. These tiny offsets can be information about ingested material. The exact details of this process are currently undefined. Scientists are waiting for more detailed technical paper from Stephen Hawking, Malcolm Perry and Andrew Strominger. They say he will appear at the end of September.

At the moment we are sure that black holes exist, we know where they are, how formed and what it will become in the end. But the details of what happens to the incoming information, still represent one of the biggest mysteries of the Universe.

10 facts about black holes that everyone should know
Ilya Hel
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