What Is The Black Hole Essay Research

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What Is The Black Hole Essay, Research Paper What exactly IS a black hole? With all the excitement surrounding the new Star Wars movie, it is a big day for lovers of science fiction. But how much does the average person really understand about beaming up; phasers and photons; wormholes and warp drive? How powerful are these fantasies compared to the real thing? If theories of their existence are true, black holes are the most powerful force in the known physical universe; however, do they even exist? Most scientists believe so, but by their very nature, black holes are impossible to observe. One can only see how the hole affects the space around it, and draw conclusions from there. Enough information is known to imagine what it would be like to explore one in a spaceship

during a far distant Star Wars future, though. Many people are familiar with the term black hole, but few people actually know anything about this phenomenon beyond reading science fiction books. A black hole forms as a result of a massive star running out of fuel to burn. Once the star is no longer exerting outward force by burning off gases, it begins to collapse under its own intense, inward gravity (Chaisson 193). It is like slowly letting the air out of a balloon. Once the star is shrunk to a certain size, while its mass, or weight, remains the same, its gravity becomes so powerful that nothing can escape (Hawking 87). This critical size to weight ratio is known as the Schwarzchild Radius (Hawking 87). Once a black hole is created in this way, an invisible area, or boundary

exists. If any object crosses this line, it can no longer escape the gravitational force of the black hole (Hawking 87). This line is called the event horizon (Hawking 87). If black holes are proven to exist, beyond theoretical physics, then they would probably be a very common anomaly in this universe. In 1915, Albert Einstein put forth the first real proposition of such an anomaly in his Theory of Relativity (Black Holes FAQ). In the 1930s, three physicists, doctors Volkoff, Snyder and Oppenheimer, were able to prove the validity of black holes mathematically. Since then, black holes have become a very important and integral part of science and the over all understanding of the universe. It has been proven, mathematically, that black holes have infinite gravity based, escape

velocities and an immense affect on light, time and even the very fabric of space. What exactly is an escape velocity? All bodies in space have gravity. According to Einstein s Theory of Relativity , this is because bodies with a large mass, or weight, actually warp space (Chaisson 77). For example, if a two dimensional sheet of cloth, stretched and suspended at four corners, represents space, and a bowling ball is placed in the center, the sheet will warp downward. If a golf ball is then set at the edge of the sheet and allowed to move freely it will be attracted toward the bowling ball, unless the golf ball is traveling at a speed great enough to not be affected by the curve. This critical speed is known as an escape velocity. This is the speed at which an object must travel to

escape a body s gravitational force (Chaisson 77). If a body is compacted, such that its weight stays the same but its radius, or size, becomes smaller, it s escape velocity increases in proportion (Chaisson 196). The simple formula for this, in physics, states that a body s escape velocity is equal to the square root of its mass, divided by its radius (Chaisson 77). Since a black hole s size is always decreasing and it s weight is always the same, the escape velocity is infinite (Chaisson 195). This means that nothing can escape a black hole past the event horizon, not even light. Light is made up of waves and particles. These particles strike an object and bounce off. After they ve bounced off the object they move at a different speed and direction. When the hit our eyes, or