Black Holes - Where does all the matter go

In summary, black holes have a massive gravitational pull due to their singularity, causing time and matter to be drawn in. The laws of science break down at the singularity, which is a point of infinite density according to the classical theory. If everything in the universe fell into a black hole, it would 'consume' the entire universe. However, the majority of matter is not on a collision course with a black hole. There is a misconception that black holes act like vacuum cleaners. In reality, they behave like any other object with equivalent mass from a distance. In a contracting universe, the dynamics may be different but it is not clear if black holes would attract more mass. The analogy of space-time as a linen sheet and matter as spe
  • #1
BenGoodchild
Okay,

Lets take a black hole. time, matter - everything is drawn in by the massive gravitational pull of this singularity. The laws of science break down as there is a point in space where there is nothing.

I hope that is accurate -if not please correct me.

So, we have this drain of everything situation building up. now this is where I get a little hazy in my understanding. What happens to everything that is drawn in -the time, the matter, (the anti-matter?)?

I have several ideas and was wondering if you could offer some thoughts.


  • Does it simply build up and the singularity get bigger - I do not believe this is the case, as otherwise black holes would simply grow exponentially and 'consume' the universe.

  • Does the matter become highly concentrated and more dense, tending towards an infinite density? however once more this would simply cause the universe to collapse into an ever growing black hole.

  • Does the matter get 'moved' somewhere?

  • Or simply what does happen?!

Any thoughts would be well recieved.

Regards,

Ben

(and do white holes exist - where the concept of time relative to the creation of a black hole is reversed?)
 
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  • #2
the stuff sucked stays there
making the BH bigger in mass
point size is more a math idea then a proven fact
the event horizen does get bigger as mass is gained

white holes are as yet unfound and would be hard to hide
so may not be
 
  • #3
Okay so: an increase in size, may give three results.

A decrease in denity, an increase in density or no change in density.

If it were the last two the black hole would continue to grow and 'consume' everything in the universe. Is this what you are suggesting?

In the first instance I am not sure what would happen!

Why not white hole = big bang?


Regards,

Ben
 
  • #4
According to the classical theory of black holes -- that governed by general relativity alone -- the singularity is already a point of infinite density. You can continue adding mass for it forever, and it will never grow in size; it will always be of infinite density.

If everything in the universe were to fall into a black hole, then, indeed, the black hole would have 'consumed' the entire universe. Luckily, the majority of the matter in the universe is not in a trajectory that will lead it to collide with a black hole anytime soon, if ever. Remember that, from a distance, a black hole acts no different from any other object with equivalent mass. They're not like "vacuum cleaners," a common misconception.

- Warren
 
  • #5
Thank you for your reply, and i do not treat them as 'vacuum cleaners'.

But I do consider them i this way. If they have infinite mass, their gravitational pull must be huge. This will attract many bodies towards it. now, as you suggest, they are moving in a direction away from the singularity - then their fine, as would be the case in a stable state universe, or in a constantly expanding universe.

But what if we take the view of a universe that will expand and contract. As the masses move from expanding to contracting ,the velocities will be small in magnitude and so the black hole may attract more matter.

Another though is this. If we treat space time as sheet of linen, and matter rests on top like little specs of dust. The black hole pulls in the linen, with the dust on top. So will he whole of space time be consumed by such a black hole?

Regards,

Ben
 
  • #6
BenGoodchild said:
now, as you suggest, they are moving in a direction away from the singularity - then their fine
Or just tangentially - the matter would simply orbit the black hole, and never fall in.
But what if we take the view of a universe that will expand and contract. As the masses move from expanding to contracting ,the velocities will be small in magnitude and so the black hole may attract more matter.
Obviously the dynamics of the universe will be different when contracting. The logical leap that black holes will gather more mass in a contracting universe, however, does not seem clear to me.
Another though is this. If we treat space time as sheet of linen, and matter rests on top like little specs of dust. The black hole pulls in the linen, with the dust on top. So will he whole of space time be consumed by such a black hole?
These kinds of analogies are dangerous. The "specks of dust" you speak of begin initially at rest with respect to the black hole, which is not a normal state of affairs.

- Warren
 
  • #7
chroot said:
These kinds of analogies are dangerous. The "specks of dust" you speak of begin initially at rest with respect to the black hole, which is not a normal state of affairs.

I understand the apprehension, however, the real point I was trying to make is that if space time is finite, it will be sucked into the black hole eventually. and the matter will be forced to as well.

chroot said:
Or just tangentially - the matter would simply orbit the black hole, and never fall in.

Would they? Bodies orbitting another body (planets round a sun) have slightly collapsing orbits, woudld the same not be true of a body oribiting a balck hole. giving the black hole a 'drain' like effect?

Regards,

Ben
 
  • #8
BenGoodchild said:
I understand the apprehension, however, the real point I was trying to make is that if space time is finite, it will be sucked into the black hole eventually. and the matter will be forced to as well.
"Spacetime" doesn't get sucked anywhere. Spacetime is a coordinate system.
Would they? Bodies orbitting another body (planets round a sun) have slightly collapsing orbits, woudld the same not be true of a body oribiting a balck hole. giving the black hole a 'drain' like effect?
Not in the absence of drag or tidal forces, they don't.

What I'm trying to explain is that, if the entire milky way galaxy became an enormous black hole, it would have no effect at all on even the nearest other galaxies.

- Warren
 
  • #9
chroot said:
"Spacetime" doesn't get sucked anywhere. Spacetime is a coordinate system.

Okay, this is about to get messy. If we imagine matter as a 'string' 'woven' through spacetime. As it is pulled into a black hole is just the matter at the pointof entering the singularity absorbed, or is the whole string pulled in (as black holes can attract time and space)

chroot said:
Not in the absence of drag or tidal forces, they don't.

So, then why is the Earth collapsing in its orbit to the sun? And why would not the same reasons apply to a planet 'orbiting' a black hole?

chroot said:
What I'm trying to explain is that, if the entire milky way galaxy became an enormous black hole, it would have no effect at all on even the nearest other galaxies.

Is this using the principle that the gravitational pull of an object is governed by 1/r^2? And due to distance the effect would be too minimal to draw anything in? And if the black hole has infinite mass, why not infinite gravity (i accept it doesn't as we are notin a black hole - but why not)?

Regards,

Ben
 
  • #10
BenGoodchild said:
Okay, this is about to get messy. If we imagine matter as a 'string' 'woven' through spacetime. As it is pulled into a black hole is just the matter at the pointof entering the singularity absorbed, or is the whole string pulled in (as black holes can attract time and space)
I have no idea what you're talking about. Please try to use conventional scientific terms, so that your audience will be able to decipher your thoughts.
So, then why is the Earth collapsing in its orbit to the sun? And why would not the same reasons apply to a planet 'orbiting' a black hole?
Because there -are- non-negligible tidal forces at work in the Sun-earth system. The tidal forces on the Earth caused by another galaxy, on the other hand, are completely negligible.
Is this using the principle that the gravitational pull of an object is governed by 1/r^2? And due to distance the effect would be too minimal to draw anything in? And if the black hole has infinite mass, why not infinite gravity (i accept it doesn't as we are notin a black hole - but why not)?
You really do seem to be adhering to the "vacuum cleaner" misconception, even while saying you do not. Black holes don't "draw anything in" any more than any other object of the same mass. Black holes also do not have infinite mass.

- Warren
 
  • #11
Okay the string idea. Take a Carbon atom.

It has existed since the beginning of the universe. Therefore, in spacetime, it has occupied many different points, relative of course to space and time. If one connects each of these points, as is logical if one imagines the atom throughout its existence through space and time, a string is formed.

I am asking, is this string pulled into the black hole, and therefore the history of the atom or just the atom as it exists at the point it enters the singularity.

Because there -are- non-negligible tidal forces at work in the Sun-earth system. The tidal forces on the Earth caused by another galaxy, on the other hand, are completely negligible.
The notion of a planet orbiting a black hole is no different from that of a planet orbiting a star. the principles are still applicable.

Finally,you said a while ago, that black holes had INFINITE mass. Well not much else has this property so what should I use as a point of reference. and also, as the black hole is of infinite mass in an infinitely small area (a point), the density is infinite. This would make the gravtitational pull infinite would it not? And therefore by using 1/r^2 the entire universe would suffer the infinite pull of the black hole and therefore collapse. This is not occurring so where is the flaw?!

And
 
  • #12
BenGoodchild said:
Okay the string idea. Take a Carbon atom.

It has existed since the beginning of the universe. Therefore, in spacetime, it has occupied many different points, relative of course to space and time. If one connects each of these points, as is logical if one imagines the atom throughout its existence through space and time, a string is formed.
This is called a "worldline."
I am asking, is this string pulled into the black hole, and therefore the history of the atom or just the atom as it exists at the point it enters the singularity.
If a particle's wordline enters a black hole, it says nothing of the rest of the worldline. Its entire history is not demolished anymore than your evening at home is demolished when you walk into school the next morning.
The notion of a planet orbiting a black hole is no different from that of a planet orbiting a star. the principles are still applicable.
I didn't think we were discussing a planet orbiting a black hole -- I thought we were discussing a black hole "sucking up" the entire universe.
Finally,you said a while ago, that black holes had INFINITE mass.
I said no such thing. Black holes certainly do not have infinite mass.

- Warren
 
  • #13
chroot said:
I said no such thing. Black holes certainly do not have infinite mass.

No, but the fisrst post you made stated:
chroot said:
According to the classical theory of black holes -- that governed by general relativity alone -- the singularity is already a point of infinite density. You can continue adding mass for it forever, and it will never grow in size; it will always be of infinite density.

If something has infinite density it has an infinitely small volme, infinitely great mass, or both.

I expect you will say that the volume is infinitely small, making the density infinite or in fact the desnity is not infinte.

In the case of the former, the infinite gravity wil lexist anyway no?

And in the case of the latter, then is the black hole not a point in space?!

chroot said:
If a particle's wordline enters a black hole, it says nothing of the rest of the worldline. Its entire history is not demolished anymore than your evening at home is demolished when you walk into school the next morning.
Okay - thanks for clearing that up - my common sense was misplaced!



Regards,

Ben
 
  • #14
BenGoodchild said:
I expect you will say that the volume is infinitely small, making the density infinite or in fact the desnity is not infinte.
The classical singularity has zero volume.
In the case of the former, the infinite gravity wil lexist anyway no?
What is "infinite gravity?" Do you mean "infinite gravitational force?"

- Warren
 
  • #15
Yes i do.

Ben
 
  • #16
If you're just outside the singularity, you'll feel an almost infinite gravitational force. Of course, the classical singularity is not the entire story -- most physicists believe there is no classical singularity, and that quantum mechanics dictates that the mass in a black hole must have non-zero size. Of course, the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics is far from complete, so no one can definitively answer the question. The best answers I can give you are those from a complete, well-understood theory, general relativity, which is already known have a limited domain of applicability.

- Warren
 
  • #17
Okay, I may sound stupid here but that won't be anything new so let's go for it.

If just outside the singularity there is in an infinite gravtiational force, then surely, in accordance with the relationship of forces (1/r^2), then the force must always be infinite. I believe this lead sto a fallacy as the universe is expanding not contraction.

So therefore, must one not suppose that the gravtiational force is not infinite - but rather very large?

And one final question, if I speed towards a black hole from the other side of the universe near the speed of light, and of course become cloesr to the singularity, am i acclerated by it, u ptowards the speed of light further, or am I unaffected due to my speed, surely with infinite gravity, I will be accelerated.

This leads me on to one more question (sorry) which is, can gravitational effects affect bodies with no mass?

regards,

Ben

Regards,

Ben
 
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  • #18
BenGoodchild said:
Okay, I may sound stupid here but that won't be anything new so let's go for it.

If just outside the singularity there is in an infinite gravtiational force, then surely, in accordance with the relationship of forces (1/r^2), then the force must always be infinite.

No,
the gravitational force is infinite at the singularity because r=0. At any r>0 the gravitational force is finite.
 
  • #19
Janus said:
No, the gravitational force is infinite at the singularity because r=0. At any r>0 the gravitational force is finite.

Thank you for clearing that up.

Regards,

Ben
 
  • #20
BenGoodchild said:
And one final question, if I speed towards a black hole from the other side of the universe near the speed of light, and of course become cloesr to the singularity, am i acclerated by it, u ptowards the speed of light further, or am I unaffected due to my speed, surely with infinite gravity, I will be accelerated.
From the point of view of an observer stationary wrt the black hole, you will continue to accelerate hyperbolically approaching C, but never getting there. From your point of view, you will accelerate constantly, but get to the black hole before reaching C (it doesn't matter how strong the black hole's gravity is or how fast you started - you won't ever reach C).
 
  • #21
One last question on this, when we get down to really small things, which have no mass, are they attracted by black holes or not? I was thinking not.

Regards,

Ben
 
  • #22
All particles have energy, and almost all have mass. In general relativity, both energy and mass both couple to gravity, so all particles, whether massive or not, are affected by gravity. All particles, including photons, will be attracted to a black hole.

Black holes were so named originally because light (which is massless) cannot escape from them.

- Warren
 

Related to Black Holes - Where does all the matter go

1. What is a black hole?

A black hole is a region in space where the gravitational force is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape it. This is because the black hole has such a high density that it creates a strong gravitational pull that even light cannot overcome.

2. How do black holes form?

Black holes form when a massive star dies and its core collapses inwards. As the core collapses, it becomes extremely dense and its gravity becomes so strong that it pulls in all surrounding matter. This creates a singularity, which is the center of a black hole where the laws of physics as we know them break down.

3. Where does all the matter go in a black hole?

All the matter that gets pulled into a black hole gets compressed into the singularity at the center. The singularity is a point of infinite density and all the matter is squeezed into an infinitely small space. This is why the gravitational pull of a black hole is so strong.

4. Can anything escape from a black hole?

Once something gets pulled into a black hole, it cannot escape. This includes matter, light, and even information. The event horizon, which is the point of no return, marks the boundary of a black hole and anything that crosses it is pulled into the singularity and cannot escape.

5. Are there different types of black holes?

Yes, there are several different types of black holes. The most common are stellar black holes, which form from the collapse of a single massive star. There are also supermassive black holes, which are found at the center of most galaxies and can be billions of times more massive than our sun. There are also intermediate black holes, which are smaller than supermassive black holes but larger than stellar black holes.

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