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Black holes - a few questions from a newb

  1. Jun 24, 2009 #1
    so how are they actually created. i know it happens on a collapsing of a star due to the big gravity which it has, but whats the real physical concept behind it. it cant be just like everting your shirt, right?

    what do black holes concist of? or what are they?

    where does the matter theoretically go when it enters the hole? ofc its torn apart, but the small particles?

    what is Hawking radiation?

    when 2 black holes collide, does the bigger one swollow the smaller or do they combine?

    what keeps the black hole going?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2009 #2
    A black hole is simply very dense matter. In a star there is a constant battle between gravity pulling all the matter in, and pressure from heat pushing it out. When a large star stops producing heat gravity can finally force all the matter inwards and overcome the forces that would normally stop matter from reaching the density needed to become a black hole. Matter entering the black holes becomes part of it, the same way matter entering the Earth becomes part of it.

    Hawking radiation is a very slow process by which the matter in the black hole slowly evaporates and radiates away. There are many threads that explain why and how.

    The black hole keeps going for the same reason that anything with gravity keeps going.

    Wikipedia is a good place for overviews.
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